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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Bleecker Street by Ted Lampron, in the summer of 1890, in the crime-ridden streets of New York, a drunken old seaman staggers out of a rundown bar. He is invited into an alley by a prostitute, and that is where he meets his gruesome death. This is the first of many murders in the slums of Manhattan, New York. Emma, a young reporter with an ambition to become an investigative journalist, is determined to find the killer nicknamed the New York Ripper. She risks everything to solve the spate of murders, even going undercover as a prostitute herself, where she attracts the attention of many unsavory characters. Meanwhile, a mental patient from an asylum has just escaped and is heading for New York with a score to settle that involves the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. There is one man he believes holds the answers; Emma's friend, Victor Titus. Is the New York Ripper linked to the infamous Ripper of London's Whitechapel? Will Emma find the killer before he finds her?
The author's outstanding ability to write descriptive and engaging narrative was evident from the first paragraph. His characters were well thought out, with so much attention to detail in their personalities. Emma was such a likable character; her relationship with James was complicated and I really wanted her to find happiness. Victor was a great character too, his flaws and view of the world made him believable and very endearing. The twists and turns to the plot throughout were superb and I thought I had guessed the killer, but the revelations at the end really came as a surprise. The strong sub-plots make this much more than a historical tale; however, this well-written novel has it all. The dynamics of relationships, revenge, corruption and the pain of losing someone you love. There are great references to the Civil War, the death of John Wilkes Booth and his brother Edwin's performance of Hamlet. Even Mark Twain makes an appearance. Highly recommended.