Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine.
I liked Audrey. She was at times I think a little too full of herself, especially when she decided to sneak out onto the streets at night and try to catch the killer herself. Even though it was a way to rebel from her father and his quite stringent rules she did just want to save the women and prevent any more deaths. She is very self-motivated and I liked the way she didn’t conform to society’s expectations and did what she was interested in. She does evolve over the course of the story line and becomes more self-assured, actually standing up to her father and initiating the kiss with Thomas.
Thomas was quite an enigmatic character. He’s very aloof and comes across quite arrogant yet charismatic at the start of the book. I like that we gradually get to see him open up and express his feelings to Audrey in an almost offhand way, making jokes and shamelessly flirting. We learn more about his family and the reason why he is so adamant about learning all he can from Jonathan. I can appreciate the subtle nod to Sherlock Holmes with his character and I really enjoyed the banter between him and Audrey.
I didn’t really think the love triangle was necessary, other than introducing another character for Audrey to suspect. I guess Blackburn was necessary to drive the plot along but I didn’t really see a point to his character. After Audrey declared she no longer trusted him he didn’t really make any more impact on the story, I am hoping we get to see a bit more of him in the rest of the series though because I actually quite liked him.
The fact that the book didn’t shy away from becoming too gruesome definitely kept me engaged. It goes into pretty grim details about what happened to each of the murdered women and the autopsies they performed. It gave the book a sense of realism in a way and added much needed depth to the plot. The mystery aspect was a little bit predictable but I was entertained and eager to read on and figure out who was Jack in the end.
⭐️3/5 stars Gruesome, dark yet still quite charming!