Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, which is a fantastic Victorian-era forensics mystery that takes its readers on a harrowing journey with its main characters. In Hunting, Audrey Rose and Thomas travel to Romania to study at one of Europe’s foremost schools on forensic science. Although they expected to examine cadavers, they never thought the bodies would belong to victims of a killer in the midst of their spree.
I found the plot of Hunting Prince Dracula to be more enjoyable than its predecessor, Stalking Jack the Ripper. There was a new cast of supporting characters which brought a depth to the storyline that wasn’t as prevalent previously. There were more characters that had been introduced and developed that you formed bonds with or questioned their intentions – could they be the killer or the next victim?
By far my favourite aspect of the series was the Holmes/Watson-esque relationship between Thomas and Audrey Rose. Thomas’ quips and barbs were the most enjoyable parts of the book, despite his sometimes rakish manner. He was my favourite character in both the first and second book. It was nice to see his emotional development over the course of the novel as he had previously been hiding that aspect of himself.
Audrey Rose continues to monologue incessantly in her head, both chastizing herself profusely for her feelings and reliving the events of Stalking Jack the Ripper. It is clear that she is suffering from a traumatic event, but is unable to determine how to deal with it. It was interesting to see her attempting to cope, yet sometimes falling prey to fits of her imagination as she was unable to process the events completely. Stalking pushed Audrey Rose in ways that she was not equipped to deal with and her struggle throughout the book feels authentic.
I felt that the mystery was very well done and the culprit wasn’t obvious from the first few pages, rather you questioned everything up until the very end. Our heroes conclude the story with the news that they will be traveling once more and Escaping from Houdini in the third book in this series.
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