At a slump in his writing career and feeling dwarfed by his charismatic‚ successful boss Sir Henry Irving‚ Bram Stoker returns to London from a business trip in the summer of 1888 determined to turn his life around.
One night after a performance‚ Stoker takes a stroll through the streets of Whitechapel--an impoverished district of London known for the its many "bang-tails‚" or prostitutes‚ as well as its police and the citizenry crowding its shadowy alleys--when he thinks he recognizes an acquaintance‚ a hack-job American "doctor" named Francis Tumbelty. But that same evening in Whitechapel the crime spree of the century begins--Jack the Ripper kills his first victim‚ a local prostitute. To clear his own name Stoker enlists some of his illustrious friends‚ including Walt Whitman‚ Lady Jane Wilde (mother of Oscar)‚ and the million-copy-selling Victorian novelist Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine. When they discover that the murder weapon is a bowie knife‚ Stoker no longer doubts that the elusive American surgeon he saw weeks ago is the very same man terrorizing and taunting London as Jack the Ripper.
Trouncing from Manhattan to London's West End and Whitechapel‚ from Dublin to a ritualistic denouement in Edinburgh‚ this sweeping‚ magnificent novel is a suspenseful trip into the heart of literature and history‚ as Stoker goes on the "true" adventure that will inspire him to write Dracula.