Escaping from Houdini is the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco. This review will be spoiler-free.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.
But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.
It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?
Thrilling. Cruel. Heart-wrenching. A dangerous continuation of a series that will make you forget everything else until you devour each page.
This book has a lot of mixed reviews. Fans are angry over the twists and turns presented in this novel, but I have to say that I loved them! I felt they were all realistic. I don’t want to go into details, because I do want to keep this review spoiler-free, but I found Audrey Rose’s actions very feasible. She is a seventeen-year-old girl. She is faced with traumatic event after traumatic event. It makes sense for her to do the things she did.
Thomas is so sweet. He is probably one of the kindest, gentlest love interests that I have ever fallen for. He has so much to offer Audrey Rose, yet he doesn’t see any of it. It breaks my heart. And then there is Mephistopheles. I don’t even know what to say about him. I had mixed feelings for him for a long time, but by the end, I have to admit that I love him. He
Liza. Harry Houdini. Anishaa. Mrs. Harvey. Cassie. Andreas. Jian Yu. Once again, I am not disappointed by the side characters in this novel. Maniscalco shines at creating well-rounded characters that always leave you guessing. Each character has their own personality, interests, and secrets. They all have a story to tell and I am always left wanting to know more about them. (In a good way!)
The setting for this book was marvelous. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this novel, but I have to say that I was thankfully not disappointed. Just like the two previous books in this series, the world that was created was complex yet simple to understand and picture. I was given just enough details to see everything clearly in my mind.
A mystery that leaves you guessing until the very last second is my favorite kind. I had no idea who the murder was in this book. I had a theory or two, but they were dismissed almost as soon as I had them. When it was finally revealed, I was shocked, but it made so much sense. I should have seen it sooner!
Overall, I loved this book. I don’t think it’s my favorite in the series, but I don’t understand why everyone is so mad about the events that occurred! I am dying to dive into the final book in this series and see what happens.
I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this series to all the historical and mystery lovers out there.