A creepy castle, a fascinating yet dangerous murder mystery, and a totally swoon-worthy male protagonist are just a few aspects that should send Hunting Prince Dracula, Kerri Maniscalco’s new novel, to the top of your to-read list.
About ‘Hunting Prince Dracula’
In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
Related: “Monsters aren’t always the creatures with fangs and claws”: Hunting Prince Dracula author Kerri Maniscalco talks trauma, vampire books, and more
‘Hunting Prince Dracula’ review
While I didn’t review it for Hypable, Kerri Maniscalco’s first installment in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of the best books I read last year. This series expertly balances urban legends and mythical figures with science and history, creating spooky yet utterly believable tales of intrigue and murder.
Hunting Prince Dracula picks up right after Stalking Jack the Ripper leaves off in terms of character development. The events of the first novel aren’t just glossed over in the second novel, like some series are wont to do, but instead the first book drives a lot of the emotions and hesitations of the second. The consequences and fallout from the first novel are ever-present in this new addition to the series and help color some of the events that occur while our heroes are trying to solve a new mystery in Romania.
Speaking of the mystery, the murders in Hunting Prince Dracula are just as intriguing as they were in the first novel. While not as brutal as a “Jack the Ripper”-like slaying, these murders were creepier because they were more methodical and well thought-out. I’ll also say that the actual culprit is quite a surprise once they reveal themselves, but in the best possible way. The end of the book gives a small hint as to what the next monster/mystery the duo will tackle might be, but I just can’t wait to know for sure.
While I love the mysteries and use of history and lore in these novels (because of the way Maniscalco takes a mythical monster and makes it human), my favorite aspect of these stories is the book’s main characters. I love Audrey Rose and Thomas, both as individuals and as a dynamic duo. Audrey Rose is an incredibly strong and intelligent female character who isn’t without her flaws. But, somehow, it’s her flaws that are most indicative of her personal strength. While I liked how the first book explored her intelligence, I love how Hunting Prince Dracula takes a deeper dive into her emotions.
But as big of a fan I am of Audrey Rose, I think I love her partner in crime, Thomas Cresswell, even more. He’s the perfect blend of charming and compassionate, even if he often mistakenly chooses to use the wrong one of those qualities at the wrong time. This second installment gives the reader so much more information about his background and the way his brain works (beyond just the fact that he’s adept at noticing small details). In that regard, Hunting Prince Dracula is very much his novel (where Stalking Jack the Ripper was Audrey Rose’s).
Well, there’s that and the fact that Thomas Cresswell is even more swoon-worthy in this novel than he was in the last. Some of the jokes and looks he shoots Audrey’s way are cute enough to make even the most stoic person’s heart flutter. And I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t a few moments in the novel that demonstrate true romantic potential between the two protagonists. I both love and hate author Kerri Maniscalco at the same time for making my heart leap and my knees buckle as much as they did while reading this novel.
Fans of historical fiction, urban legends, witty crime-fighting duos, or even just Halloween (the best holiday of the year) won’t be able to keep themselves from loving this novel. The end will leave you thirsting for more and eagerly awaiting the series’ third installment.
And hey, if this review doesn’t convince you to pick up your own copy of Hunting Prince Dracula, perhaps my short Twitter review (which was approved by the author, I might add) might just do the trick.
awww this is the absolute BEST! (though i'm sorry for the jellified legs )
— kerri maniscalco (@KerriManiscalco) August 31, 2017
it's going down as one of my favorite descriptions, btw
— kerri maniscalco (@KerriManiscalco) September 1, 2017