Apr 25, 2020

Review--Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer---or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World's Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they've heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him---and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device---is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end---together and in love---or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

To say that I enjoyed Kerri Maniscalco's finale to the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, Capturing the Devil, is an understatement, I was so thoroughly engrossed and blown away that there is not an accurate enough word to describe my enjoyment! Kerri's mystery series has been one shocking installment after another! That she incorporated such scandalous figures in history in mostly accurate and pleasing matters left me tickled with glee!

When we last left our heroes, Audrey Rose and Thomas along with her uncle and cousin had arrived in America after their frightful trip aboard the RMS Etruria. Though it would seem their frights are far from over. As was hinted at in its finale, there was a second killer aboard the ship and he was now in America roaming free. While Audrey Rose and Thomas were hoping to make plans for an engagement announcement, instead they are learning about bodies dropping around the city and trying to solve the mystery of why and how...and who.

While I do looooove the relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas and have enjoyed every moment of watching it grow and develop...I was a little upset over how loooong this first part spent on further development. They were planning an engagement then a quick wedding...only to have a catastrophe strike at the ceremony and you know, put a barrier between them once more. Said barrier seemed to take up a great deal of the remaining half of "part one" in the story. The thing that came between Audrey Rose and Thomas' happiness was a burden of course, and it threatened to tear them apart. But at the same time...I couldn't help but want to get back to the mystery at hand.

Luckily, around the 200+ page mark we get back to mystery solving by landing in Chicago! As the cover foretells, the mystery draws them into Chicago during the World's Fair. Though getting the mystery fired up again does take a bit of time, but the fact that they were led to Chicago because of a string of missing women does give them cause to be there.

I'm not certain it was clear what historical character will take precedence in this story, so I won't reveal who it was in this review either as it came as a surprise to me as I'm not good at remembering history! Plus, I don't think this "subject" was touched in my history classes, because I am sure I would've paid more attention had it been brought up! Lol. But when it finally became more clear about who the historical who was, I instantly remembered a show that touched upon it and was seeing the similarities! 

The whodunit here was pretty scary too! What's even more terrifying about these stories is that whodunit killer was really real! These are the monsters the other monsters were based on!

What I loved even more was how the events of the first book get tied back around to the present story. I distantly recall a few lingering questions about that mystery and the whys behind the killer's motives and such. Well, here are those answers! It presents an even more astonishing theory behind the TRUE history of these events that transpired in both books! It's truly mind-boggling!

One of the other things that I loved about this entire series were the characters, mostly Audrey Rose and Thomas! I mean, if you can't enjoy Thomas's quips and humor and Audrey Rose's reactions and comebacks, then you might not be reading the right story for you. Their banter was something that always left me in stitches! And that the switch can easily be flipped from bantering to flirting to acting romantically was a transition that felt so natural and toe-curling. I positively adored these two! And as a side note, I adore Audrey Rose's grandmother that we briefly get to meet in the latter half of "part one." She was a spitfire of an old lady and I loved her for it too!

Of course, as most series finales go, this one ends in a way that leaves readers happy. All is as it should be in a series finale. We know where our characters are at and we can imagine the adventures they will have long after we turn that last page. That is honestly the way all series should end! Kerri Maniscalco pretty much made her way onto my favorite author list after Stalking Jack the Ripper, but she's pretty much cemented herself there with every book she's written since then! I am so looking forward to her next book later this year! This is definitely an author to read if you enjoy a good historical fiction mystery!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

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