Both of these historical fics are inspired by true accounts, the latter being inspired by the author’s grandparents!
Stalking Jack the Ripper was a physical bought copy while The Search was an ARC I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: By ordering the book via my Blackwell’s affiliate program, I receive a small commission at no extra cost from you.
Description Summary | What a let down. A promising retelling of the infamous murderer turns out to be a heavy case of shoved down your throat feminism and an unoriginal ending.
Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…
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. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
It is easier for me to point out the positives: writing style was good, Thomas Cresswell was a fantastic character, and the pacing was quick and easy. Unfortunately whatever spark Maniscalo tries to ignite in terms of interest within the case is heavily shrouded with an annoying protagonist, a richer focus from the forensics side which leads to a negligence when it comes to deduction and actual investigating.
In an effort to make Audrey Rose modern and “feminist” what happened was we got a severe case of “I’m not like other girls” syndrome. Thomas on the other hand, was the best thing in the book. It is a shame that his character has been watered down to be only “Audrey Rose’s love interest”.
A lower rating was also contributed because of some things stated by the characters about religion I found a bit disagreeable, but this is subjective only to me as a reader.
TW: The book does include some gruesome pictures of anatomy and disease some may found unsettling and I was surprised to not see any kind of warning within the book.
Do I recommend ? No, if you’re interested in Jack the Ripper, look into his original story instead.
Description Summary | Fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale will love this historical fiction that promises a romantic view on the one of the most tragic times in history.
The Great Depression and Dust Bowl have destroyed Melinda’s home, her community, and her family, leaving her alone in a world of aimless refugees. Just when she thinks there’s nothing else left in life to fight for, a stranger seeks shelter in her schoolhouse on the most violent storm of the decade.
Jake is running from the memories of another life, using his assignment with the National Relief Administration to keep him distracted from the realities of anti-Semitism in 1930s America. As he documents the life of migrants on the road to a better life in California, and makes Melinda his focus, the horizon brightens.
Together, Melinda and Jake start to piece their lives back together. But when they push against the odds, betrayal and trauma threaten to separate them forever. Will they find each other again, or are they lost to the violence of migrant camps and their own desperation? From the author of All This Time, comes the debut historical romance, The Search: A Dust Bowl Love Story. Velez weaves a romantic thriller into a classic American tale about love, loss, and redemption.
To be honest I’ve never heard of The Dust Bowl before reading this book, and it was an insightful read to witness some of the hardships so many went through. This reminds me of Grapes of Wrath but The Search provides romantic escapism instead and though yes romance is the central propelling point of the plot, Velez expertly blends in history and romance, one never overpowers the other hence it doesn’t paint a cheesy picture.
Melinda was a fierce woman despite her appearance but she was kind and gentle, and loved her dresses. Jake was sarcastic and very New York. He was loud, opinionated but not dismissive.
I loved them both and the fact that this book doesn’t just make them “fall in love” and everything becomes better makes The Search a fantastic read. They both go through internal conflicts that make them stronger by their own self.
Do I recommend ? Yes.