Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco – Review

Cover- Capturing the Devil

Published: September 10, 2019

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #4

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Pages: 453 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 2.0/5.0


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?

Okay, so this book made me UNREASONABLY angry. I actually had to pause the audiobook and vent about it to my husband, who was caught entirely unawares by this outburst. He was stunned and had no idea what to say. This review will have spoilers ahead because I can’t talk about what frustrated me so much without spoiling all the things.

This is the final installment in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I did begin this with some trepidation as the second book was a flop for me. Audrey Rose spent the entire book whinging about EVERYTHING and she was SO SET UPON BY HER ANGUISH. It irritated me endlessly. The gave the third book a chance and was pleasantly surprised by the turnaround in her character – finally she was starting to act like the intelligent, capable young woman we are told she is. And the fourth book unfortunately mirrors the second and WHINGING Audrey Rose returns with a vengeance. She stops being the clever girl she’s supposed to be and turns back into an emotional wreck. It’s not entirely without reason, but nonetheless instead of seeing that a solution could be found she sees only the problem. Girl, use that razor blade and slice the old goon that stands in the way of your Thomas! Thomas is equally bad in this book and turns into a moping sop and suddenly loses all his intelligence as well. Two mopey idiots.

Oh yeah, this is also supposed to be a murdery, crime-solving type book but that part is almost an afterthought and if you’ve done any research on H.H. Holmes, aka the White City Devil, you’ll know who the culprit is as soon as his alias is used for the first time. The book focuses almost entirely on the Wadsworth-Cresswell wedding and their relationship. You feel sort of sappy happy leading up to the wedding and then when the cheap, unnecessary drama of AN UNKNOWN PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT shows up the book revolves around Audrey and Thomas crying into one another’s arms and eating cake. Their collective intellect takes far too long to rebound and focus on solving the problem and in the end they don’t even solve it! I was SO MAD. It was such a cheap plot device – I don’t usually get this opinionated about what an author should have done, but having them get married and then go off to Chicago as a honeymoon destination would have worked so much more smoothly and elegantly. They could have been on their own, solving a murder unchaperoned (EGAD!) and living their best lives, but NOOOOO. We had to throw in some money-grubbing broad and Thomas’s estranged turd of a father for cheap soap-opera drama.

I’m just gonna stop that here. This book was a tremendous disappointment and the entire series is quite average overall, so if it still sounds like your thing go for it! I’m a bit mad at myself that I wasted my own time, but I’m also glad to know how things ended. I didn’t hate the ending, I just think it could have been so much more – this could have been a magnificent triumph, however it was almost like the characters settled and were trying overly hard to be modern for the era. It’s just whatever.

4 thoughts on “Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco – Review

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