Murders in New York

Letters from a Murderer by John Matthews
Letters from a Murderer by John Matthews

Enjoy Sherlock Holmes? Read The Yard by Alex Grecian? Love a good old Victorian Murder mystery? Then this is the book for you.

Finley Jameson and Joseph Argenti are the Sherlock and Watson of Letters from a Murderer and in certain situations reminded me of one of my favourite television series WhiteChapel – especially since its subject is the aftermath of the Ripper killings and the possibility that the Ripper himself has ended up in New York to continue his killing spree.

The chemistry between Argenti and Jameson is a key and integral part of the book and both are well developed and interesting characters in their own right. They share distant and troubled pasts but they have a good solid relationship.

As the Ripper has apparently travelled across the pond to a sleazy and gritty New York, the action of the book centres here and although I love a good book trail to the actual places in the novel, I can honestly say I would not like to travel to THIS version of New York for the city is a wild savage boar and the novel lives on its underbelly.

Gangs, murders, red herrings, chases across the docks, ‘ladies of the night’….I could hear the muddy water trickling down the sides of the buildings, the rustle of a corset, the scrapping of a knife exiting a body, and the hurried footsteps on the wet, bloody cobbles.

Has the ripper travelled across to New York?
Has the ripper travelled across to New York from here in London?

I read this with my heart in my mouth for much of the action – I became so vocal that I found anyone near me gave me a funny stare – Come on! He’s around the corner – hurry!! I said, I think to myself.  A particular scene in the Opera house made me race through those chapters only to have a palpitation at the end result – no spoilers here though!

This is not just a crime or detective novel however – it is much more than that.  The depth and layers of the action was a real highlight and completely threw in  many red herrings for the readers enjoyment.

Corruption within the police force was a theme as was the insight into the type of girls that the Ripper targeted. The victims were much more than victims.

A novel with so many ingredients can only result in a fully baked Victorian drama. I am already looking towards the second installment and will certainly travel back to wherever the next book takes me.

Interview with John Mathews tomorrow! He’s popping by for some victoria sponge and a cup of tea.  Got to get baking. See you tomorrow!

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