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.
Words cannot express how much I loved this book. I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype or be as good as Stalking Jack The Ripper. But it was even better. I have zero complaints about this book.
Audrey Rose is back and just as amazing as she was in the first book. I just love her. She and Thomas have become some of my favorite book characters. Audrey Rose is so ahead of her time. While most girls her age are just trying to find a husband, she is determined to do everything on her own. While she has strong feelings for Thomas, her fear is having a man treat her as less than an equal. She studies forensics, prefers to figure things out of her own, and is extremely intelligent. Just a total badass, no matter the time period.
And then there’s Thomas. Holy swoon. I’ve missed him so much. Thomas is the perfect mix or sarcastic, flirty, intelligent, and sweet. He is an all time favorite for me.
“I have a feeling you haven’t invited me here for kissing. Though it never hurts to ask.” He grinned at my ensemble and rubbed his hands together, mischief sparking like fireworks around him. “You’re dressed for sneaking about Dracula’s castle. Be still my thawing dark heart. You certainly know how to make a young man feel alive, Wadsworth.”
Audrey Rose and Thomas travel together for a forensics program being held at Bran Castle in Romania. While heading there on train, there is a strange murder. The locals are afraid that Dracula has returned. They have a lot of myths and legends about the area that include Vlad, Strigoi, and wolves. There has already been a woman missing from the village and now this death on the train. And since trouble seems to follow them around, bodies start showing up at the castle, too.
Classes still continue and the students not only work on autopsies and anatomy, but also local folklore. They might not have liked those classes, but I found those parts of the book fascinating. The Order of the Dragon was covered quite a bit.
“For those who may be unaware, they were a secret society made up of selected nobility. Often called Societas Draconistrarum, or, roughly translated, Society of the Dragonistas. They fought to uphold certain values during times of war and invasion. Sigismund, King of Hungary, used the Crusaders as a model when he founded the group.”
Thomas’ sister arrives at the castle and there is a secret relationship with another young woman. It was refreshing to see that both Thomas and Audrey Rose accepted this and saw the love between the two. Daciana is very similar to Thomas and I liked her right away.
Kerri does a wonderful job with the mystery and suspense throughout the book. The writing is somewhat spooky and adds to the setting. Thomas and Audrey Rose get into a lot of trouble while trying to figure out the mystery behind the recent murders. I was actually a bit surprised by the ending, too.
Overall, it was just the perfect book for me and I’m so glad I read it in October. It sets the mood perfectly for Halloween next week.
5 stars and one of my favorite books of the year.