Once again Maniscalco slays with a fabulously haunting read. Set against a backdrop of superstition and myth, Hunting Prince Dracula makes even vampires seem real as Dracula rises from the grave to terrorize the people of Romania.
I don't think I can say anything bad about this book. Last year, I gave Stalking Jack the Ripper a go despite it falling outside my usual genres of choice, and I'm glad I did. Not only was it a fabulous debut, but this author has shown her talent with an even better sequel. I loved the combination of the mysterious legends surrounding Dracula and the science of studying cadavers that merge to give this book such a spooky vibe. This is, in part, due to the setting, a remote castle in Romania well away from the bustling streets of London we walked in the last book.
What's creepier than Castle Bran in winter?
The world set the mood but the characters brought this story to life. Audrey Rose is just fabulous. She's fighting against the norm by being a woman in the sciences (YES GO GIRL) without sacrificing who she is. I like that she's comfortable in both a dress and pants, that she is afraid of spiders but can cut open a body without a second thought, that she has strong emotions but also doesn't let them rule her every decision. In short, she's highly intelligent and absolutely delightful.
As is her Mr. Cresswell. And let me just say, Maniscalo knows how to build a slow burning romance, almost slow enough that I wanted to tear the pages out until something happened.
Almost. Don't worry, no books were harmed in the reading of this story.
We met Cresswell last time around and he's just as swoon-worthy in Hunting Prince Dracula, if not more so. Yet we also get insight into his personal life, meeting a member of his family and watching as his walls fold back to reveal the man beneath. This is Audrey Rose's story but Cresswell is just as big a part of that and I loved every bit of him.
I'm not all that familiar with mystery novels, mind you, but I felt this book was very well paced. Just as my mind caught up and made certain connections, something new would be introduced, constantly keeping me on edge. There was always a level of mystery present up until the ending, which was both satisfying but also created a desperate need in me for book 3.
Hunting Prince Dracula is a beautifully crafted, spooky mystery perfect for anyone seeking a thrill amidst legends. And if you haven't read Stalking Jack the Ripper, now is the perfect time to get both of these books on your TBR! Another outstanding novel from Kerri Maniscalco!