Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3)by Kerri Maniscalco Published 18 Sep 2018
|Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3).pdf|
In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. .
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 strange and 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?
"Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3)" Reviews
EFH Fall Tour announcement can be found here! (along with signed editions available throughout the US on release day!)
INTL Pre-orders (available to all) can be found here:
IG--I'm hosting an INTL giveaway RIGHT NOW and it ends on 8/16/18!
both the US pre-order prizes and INTL pre-order giveaway have been announced!
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i'm hosting the very first ARC giveaway on twitter RIGHT NOW! go forth and enter, friends! remember, there aren't going to be very many ARCs in the world, so don't miss out!!!
1/16/18 update: COVER REVEAL IS THIS FRIDAYYYYYYYYYY (1/19/18)
12/17/17 update: title, summary, and tentative release date are being announced TOMORROW!
title announcement coming before the end of december. are you ready???
i am having a little too much fun writing this dark draft :)
#1: Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★★
#2: Hunting Prince Dracula ★★★★★
#3: Escaping From Houdini ★★★★★
Let me tell you guys, I have been dying to post this review! It’s been a few months since I read this one, but the publisher did request that I wait to post my thoughts until close to the book’s release, and naturally, I obliged. Now that I can finally gush freely with you all, I have to tell you that I adore this series. It is such a fun roller coaster of emotions and suspense, and I honestly think Kerri could write a dozen books following the adventures of Audrey and Thomas, and I would happily read each and every one of them.
He flashed a quick grin. “A lifetime full of surprises, remember, Wadsworth?”
“Indeed.” I could not imagine a future that didn’t include unwinding each secret he possessed.
Just the same as in the past two installments, my favorite parts are each and every moment in which Audrey and Thomas are alone, whether they’re swapping flirty banter, admiring one another’s intellect, sneaking steamy moments in hidden corners, or confessing sweet, tender emotions and desires. That said, this installment relies less on relationship building and more on suspense, intrigue, and a bit of con work.
“Truth is often compared to a blade. I question those who marvel when it pricks.”
What I expect to be a controversial topic is Audrey’s behavior in this book, which I ultimately loved, despite struggling with at first. Escaping fell slightly below Hunting Prince Dracula in terms of enjoyment for me because of her actions, which I hold conflicting feelings about: on the one hand, her deceit is heartbreaking as we see the pain it causes her loved ones, but on the other, Audrey proves herself as a bright young woman who has come to recognize that she has to figure things out for herself and to see if she’s settling, or truly on the path she needs to be on. That said, I think readers everywhere will be pleased with the end of her curious emotional journey.
“Hope is an invisible, but mighty force. Don’t dismiss its power.”
On a less conflicting note, let me tell you, the setting is this book is fantastic; it is so delightful and intriguing. Nothing is ever quite what it seems to be on the ship, and there’s a lot of world-building for the circus and its performers that lends to an immersive, captivating arena for the murders.
“Miss Audrey Rose Wadsworth, conqueror of my soul—you are an absolute fiend. You’d like to flout tradition simply because of your need for my body.” He held a hand over his heart. “I swear I have never loved you more.”
As for my favorite aspect of the series, Thomas: he has developed into this delightfully kind creature when it comes to his love for Audrey, but his humor and snark are still fully present, as is his brilliant wit. Thomas is truly one of my favorite YA love interests of all time, because not only is he funny, charming, and cute—he’s also incredibly respectful and in awe of Audrey’s talents, and even when it breaks his heart, he’s fully prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that she feels free to make the choices she needs to make. I just love him so, so much.
“Swords, secrets, and stolen kisses.”
Finally, our newest prominent player: Mephistopheles, the ring-leader of the traveling show. I know that there have been some mixed feelings about him from other ARC reviewers, but I have to say that, despite some of the really twisted things he does, I thought he was a phenomenal addition to the story. He’s got this moral greyness to him that you can never quite determine the shade of, and his motives are rarely, if ever, clear.
“You speak the language of my complicated heart, Wadsworth. I am a very lucky man.”
I hoped he still believed that once I’d confessed my morning activities in full.
Genuinely, I am so interested in seeing what the general consensus is when the finished release rolls around and reviews start to roll in, because I think Kerri made a lot of risky moves while writing this story (which paid off). I definitely looked at Audrey Rose a little differently by the time I closed the cover on this one (not in a bad way, though), and I wonder if it will shift even further once the finished ending comes out—because, in case you didn’t know, the ARCs don’t have the final ending. Kerri wrote a fake ending for the advance copies, which gives me the perfect excuse to reread this beauty when my pre-order arrives in September.
I’ll come back and update this review after I’ve finished, to let you all know if any of my thoughts have changed, but as it stands, I can promise you that I will still be recommending this series to anyone and everyone, as it is such a fun read with a truly lovable cast of characters.
All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Jimmy Patterson Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Buddy read with Kayla and Amy!
This is such a fun series. I like the gory factors, Cresswell—especially Cresswell, and the cool themes that are intertwined. So when I saw carnival on a ship, I was incredibly ecstatic.
Let me start out by saying the book started off very well—we get some killing right away. But then a mysterious guy with a face mask who is the carnival's leader, Mephistopheles, comes into the picture. This is where our girl, Audrey Rose, starts getting a little ridiculous.
My favorite thing about this series has been how Audrey and Thomas Cresswell are a team. A lot of this book Cresswell wasn't even there ... but Mephistopheles was. Uh oh, that means possible love triangle. I hate when you're so invested in two characters, especially when you are at book three—there does not need to be another guy in the picture!
Anyway, so besides Audrey acting ridiculous, I loved the book! The atmosphere was gorgeous, awe-inspiring and creepy—a mixture of the best kind. It was incredibly well written, and I'm excited to see what happens in book four!
I started reading Escaping from Houdini on 7/8/18 and finished it on 7/19/18. This book is an excellent read! I find the romance between Thomas and Audrey Rose intoxicating because of their limited time, privacy, and secrecy. I like the sharp tongues exchanges between Audrey and Mephistopheles. I like all the fancy clothes Audrey Rose wears: silks and velvets as well as the decorations to the live shows. I like the mystery to Mephistopheles’ background because he’s always wearing a mask. I like the friction between Thomas, Audrey Rose, and Mephistopheles and their endless witticism/sarcasm/banter/charm/well-timed quips. I can’t tell Mephistopheles’ intentions toward Audrey Rose but the air of mystery makes the read interesting. I like how the characters are good at keeping a poker face in tense situations.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Audrey Rose Wadsworth, 17, as she, Thomas Cresswell, and her Uncle Jonathan Wadsworth, whom readers learned from book 1 that he’s an expert in reading crime scenes are boarding a cruise ship called the Etruria heading to New York. There is entertainment on this cruise ship and the newest entertainer to excite everyone on board is Mephistopheles and his Moonlight Carnival crew. Their performance promises the audience of tricks that will both be dazzling and on the brink of danger. Audiences clap wildly from one act to the next with excitement and eagerness until at last, when there’s a knife protruding from the back of their fellow audience that left a puddle of blood on the floor, no one thought twice that it was a real murder but part of an act. Audrey finds herself trapped on a boat at sea with a murderer on the loose. Audrey, her uncle, and Thomas now find themselves with a dead body to examine and it might not be the only one.
Escaping from Houdini is truly mesmerizing. I love the topic of magic performances and how it all takes place on a cruise. As much as I love following Thomas and Audrey Rose breaking curfews and sneaking out on secret adventures, I do love the change in this book with Thomas having a competitor. It’s interesting how Thomas is still consider a “friend” after all of those stolen moments. I like Mrs. Harvey in this book more than in the previous books. I like the pictures before each chapter, especially the late 19th century circus performers because it gives readers an idea of what’s to come and their costumes are really out there! I love books with epilogues. I couldn’t guess who the murderer is but I did flipped back to read again to see if there were clues I might have missed. This book is a must read and the series shouldn’t be missed. I highly recommend everyone to read it!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, suspense, mystery, cruise, circus, diversity, humor/banter
xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
I love this series so much oh my god give me more please