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Review: Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

““I love you... More than all the stars in the universe. In this life and ever after. I love you.”

Name: Escaping From Houdini

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Type: Book 3 of the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Kerri Maniscalco does not disappoint in this third installment of the riveting pair of forensic scientists we can't get enough of. Thomas and Audrey are back to the world of mayhem, only this this time they are floating to America in a cruise. What they did not expect is for murders to follow them on board and for a serious of enchanting shows to affect their mind and soul. As soon as the women in the ship start disappearing, the Moonlight Carnival (the cruises' main attraction) is held under scrutiny as all the murders have a magical flair to it (cards are found in the murder scenes). However, Audrey feels responsible to find out who is behind all these killings but she does not expect her feelings to grow for the main suspect. Dealing with that and her cousin's affair with another carnival persona, and Thomas' advances she can't help but feel suffocated and confused about her life and desires.

Maniscalco's writing is really amazing. She has this gift where she can captivate you into reading and being interested in the story from the very beginning. You never feel as if the story is taking a breathing break because one thing is always leading to another, keeping you on your toes. This is what I feel makes her stories come more alive and always have this ethereal feeling to it. The story is set in an era where time seemed to move slower, yet this is not something that bores the reader but actually entices them to continue wanting to be a part of this world.

One of the only things that I found I wanted more of in this installment was more reactions from Thomas. I felt as his reactions to Audrey Rose being pursued by the magician could've been a little more dramatic or more intense. I wanted Thomas' feeling to really come out in these scenes and I feel he was pushed more to the background of Audrey Rose's growth. I did enjoy the addition of this "love triangle" (didn't love the lack of Thomas), I felt it was needed to not bore the relationship that was blooming between Audrey and Thomas and it made me enjoy those enchanting moments where the pair met in secret.

The mystery is always great and the backstories of these characters have been the most developed in my opinion. I was very interested in knowing more about the Moonlight Carnival and the evil that was roaming around the boat. The author aced on keeping the audience unaware of the murdered in this one, I actually did not guess who it was this time.

“Sometimes we choose not to see things we know are true, simply because we wish to keep the fantasy of what could have been alive,”

--- 4 stars ---