Letters From a Murderer (Finley Jameson & Joseph Argenti #1)
New York, 1891: a rapidly changing city, torn between lamplight and electric light, where the burgeoning steel and railway industries attract a flood of humanity from every corner of the globe, fuelling cut-throat gangs, corruption and vice.A prostitute is found brutally murdered. Immediately fear starts to spread. The victim bears the same hallmarks as Jack the Ripper's recent killing spree in England. Could it be that the Ripper has crossed the Atlantic to fresh killing grounds? Or is this simply a copycat murder?To solve the case, one of the original English Ripper pathologists, Finley Jameson, is teamed up with Joseph Argenti, one of the new 'untouchable' detectives, hand-picked by a New York Mayor eager to fight corruption.But Michael Tierney, the city's leading gangster, has his own ideas about how the city should be run. And as the body-count rises, and Jameson & Argenti are taunted by the killer in open letters, they find themselves fighting not just to save the next victim, but for the city's very soul.

Letters From a Murderer (Finley Jameson & Joseph Argenti #1) Details

TitleLetters From a Murderer (Finley Jameson & Joseph Argenti #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 24th, 2013
PublisherExhibit A
ISBN-139781909223370
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Crime, Historical Mystery, Thriller

Letters From a Murderer (Finley Jameson & Joseph Argenti #1) Review

  • Dan Schwent
    January 1, 1970
    When a prostitute is murdered in New York and all signs point to Jack the Ripper, pathologist Thomas Colby sends his protege Finley Jameson across the pond to assist the police. Jameson teams with NYC cop Joseph Argenti to catch the Ripper but Jameson has some skeletons of his own and the police force is half in the pocket of gangster Michael Tierney. Can Jameson and Argenti catch the Ripper and end his reign of terror forever?I got this from Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley!I almost didn't pick When a prostitute is murdered in New York and all signs point to Jack the Ripper, pathologist Thomas Colby sends his protege Finley Jameson across the pond to assist the police. Jameson teams with NYC cop Joseph Argenti to catch the Ripper but Jameson has some skeletons of his own and the police force is half in the pocket of gangster Michael Tierney. Can Jameson and Argenti catch the Ripper and end his reign of terror forever?I got this from Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley!I almost didn't pick this up, feeling Jack the Ripper has been played out. However, I was watching Sherlock when this came up on Netgalley and decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did.Letters from a Murderer takes Jack the Ripper and plops him down in New York in 1891. Argenti, the immigrant cop, is an honest man in a dishonest place, fighting just to keep his head above water in a city of corruption. Finley Jamson is a privileged Englishman with quite a few quirks. Together, they make a pretty good team.The supporting cast is equally good. You get Ellie, the prostitute who hasn't yet been broken by the business, Lawrence, Jameson's autistic savant manservant, and the Tierney mob. Michael Tierney reminds me of Al Swearengen from Deadwood quite a bit.The Ripper is quite Ripperiffic and the violence is gruesome whenever he appears. I'm not sure how much Matthews drew from the actual case and how much he invented, though.(view spoiler)[Jameson's quite a complex figure, what with his blackouts and opium habit. Seriously, does every Victorian detective have to be a drug addict? Anyway, it's a testament to Matthews' skill that even though this says a Jameson and Argenti mystery or something to that effect on the cover, he almost had me convinced that Jameson was killing people during his blackouts and/or opium hazes and unaware of it. (hide spoiler)]The way things unfolded was pretty believable. There were no huge leaps. Again, I'm not sure how much Matthews invented. Was NYC's sewer system a labyrinth of tunnels connected to the sea in 1891?Letters From a Murderer was a gripping read and I'll be picking up the next Jameson and Argenti mystery. Four out of five stars.
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  • Gram
    January 1, 1970
    Jack The Ripper is alive and well and murdering women in New York! That's the premise of this tortuous thriller which is the 1st in a series of books about New York detective Joseph Argenti and the thoroughly British criminal pathologist, Finley Jameson. The latter smokes opium and has a cane with a sword stick inside, so we know he's a maverick!Jameson also has a servant/companion called Lawrence, who he rescued from Bedlam - a horrible psychiatric hospital in England. Lawerence is an autistic Jack The Ripper is alive and well and murdering women in New York! That's the premise of this tortuous thriller which is the 1st in a series of books about New York detective Joseph Argenti and the thoroughly British criminal pathologist, Finley Jameson. The latter smokes opium and has a cane with a sword stick inside, so we know he's a maverick!Jameson also has a servant/companion called Lawrence, who he rescued from Bedlam - a horrible psychiatric hospital in England. Lawerence is an autistic savant, which will come in handy throughout this convoluted tale. Argenti is one of the new 'untouchable' detectives, chosen by the city's Mayor eager to fight corruption - and he's a very earnest fellow who has long conversations with his wife about his dead sister, his murder investigations and lots of other things which rapidly bored me to tears.Then there's the "baddie" - New York's numero uno gangster Michael Tierney who's out to get Argenti with a plan so elaborate, it would take a team of scientists and mathematicians to explain how it would work. Tierney's either Irish or Scottish as when he speaks his words and accent seems to vary between the two.Oh - and of course - there's the really nasty baddie, Jack The Ripper. Is it him or isn't it? Midway through, I didn't really care because the bulk of the story seemed to be all about Tierney's diabolical scheme to snuff out Argenti. Back home in England, Jameson's former boss is busy digging up the Ripper's London victims to see if they have hidden marks somewhere on their bodies.There's 350 pages of this stuff and then there's another 60/70 pages in which all the real action kicks off and Argenti/Jameson tie up ALMOST all the loose ends - except for a............drum roll please......surprise TWIST in the tale. I'm only giving 2 stars BUT there is a good story with interesting characters buried in here and - with some VERY severe editing - it has the makings of a half decent crime thriller series, which the publisher's probably marketing to fans of Benedict Cumberbatch's "Sherlock" and the Brit Victorian crime drama, "Ripper Street".
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...Angry Robot may be one of my favorite speculative fiction publishers, but when it comes to their Mystery/Crime imprint Exhibit A, I have to say I'm pretty much clueless. Naturally, I was curious about their books, and Letters From a Murderer immediately caught my eye. After all, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres after science fiction and fantasy, and Jack the Ripper is the subject of another great book I read re 3.5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...Angry Robot may be one of my favorite speculative fiction publishers, but when it comes to their Mystery/Crime imprint Exhibit A, I have to say I'm pretty much clueless. Naturally, I was curious about their books, and Letters From a Murderer immediately caught my eye. After all, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres after science fiction and fantasy, and Jack the Ripper is the subject of another great book I read recently, and for that reason my interest in Ripper stories was still very much piqued.However, there is one notable aspect about this Ripper story -- it takes place in New York, 1891. This was around the time when the string of brutal murders in Whitechapel and east London seemed to have stopped, leading authorities to speculate that the killer must have died, gotten arrested, or moved on. So when the book opens with a prostitute in New York found murdered in a similar way, uncomfortable questions are raised about whether or not the Ripper might have crossed the Atlantic.While I know it's not exactly new, this idea is something I've personally never encountered before in a Jack the Ripper related novel. There are whole new dynamics at work here, admidst the complexities of the city's criminal underworld as well as dark secrets in the main character Finley Jameson's past. As one of the original English pathologists on the Ripper case, Jameson is teamed up with New York detective Joseph Argenti, and together they try to catch the murderer before he can claim more victims. The "Letters" in the book's title have a two meanings, referring to the messages the killer sends to the press taunting the police, as well as the symbols found carved onto the victims' bodies.I enjoyed this, even though I'll admit I didn't fully appreciate the cleverness of the story until well into the book, when the major "twist" was revealed to shake things up. Before this, the book held my interest but did not exceed my expectations; the plot held a lot of the usual elements I would expect from a novel of this genre and type. In this historical mystery, the "history" takes more of a backseat as this is a mystery-thriller first and foremost, complete with gang violence and corruption, conspiracies and lies. Some of the characters fell into familiar archetypes, like the mob boss Tierney (evil and insane) or Jameson's assistant Lawrence (the troubled but brilliant intellectual). On the other hand, this can be seen as a postive if you prefer books that are reminiscent of classics like Sherlock Homes, as this one definitely has that vibe.The best part, however, is something I can't really talk about much in my review for fear of spoilers, but the aforementioned dark secrets in Jameson's past have a lot to do with it. Suddenly, everything that came before in the novel held more significance and meaning, including the details I thought were just par for the course in Jameson and Argenti's investigation. For a book that I didn't think was going to surprise me, it sure threw me for a loop there, keeping me guessing and wondering and beating myself up for not realizing before that this was where the author was going.Alas, that little side plot in the story was over all too quickly, but the remainder of the book set a much more rigorous pace, with an exciting mix of suspense and mystery as our investigators have to try and solve the puzzle and deal with Tierney's men at the same time. I thought everything unfolded naturally and came together very well at the end, and fans of crime fiction or historical mysteries will probably find lots to like about this one, especially if you have an interest in Sherlock-Holmes-style books or Jack the Ripper stories.
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  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited about this book, set in New York City in the late 1800s. There's a serial murderer who may be Jack the Ripper victimizing women in the city. There's a clever and maybe handsome (judging from the book's cover) pair of men assisting the police in apprehending the killer.Unfortunately for me there's also a long list of my notes detailing what doesn't hang well within this story. The main character, Finley Jameson, is rather odd, his interactions with people are strange and his sense I was excited about this book, set in New York City in the late 1800s. There's a serial murderer who may be Jack the Ripper victimizing women in the city. There's a clever and maybe handsome (judging from the book's cover) pair of men assisting the police in apprehending the killer.Unfortunately for me there's also a long list of my notes detailing what doesn't hang well within this story. The main character, Finley Jameson, is rather odd, his interactions with people are strange and his sense of humor is off. He describes his partner, Lawrence, as having Itard's syndrome and in a footnote tells the reader that Itard's was later known as Savant Autism and later as Asperger's. Disclosing all of this to the reader in one large dose seemed clumsy. Later the author has Ellie (a prostitute) describing Anna's (also a prostitute) time with a 'John' as "truly relaxing in another man's company" which didn't seem a likely scenario to me. Then he has Anna, who was out on the street confused by Ellie's concern that she was late. Their friend was just murdered, they fear Jack the Ripper was her assailant, he's still out on the loose and Anna seems to have forgotten about that, even though she was so traumatized by that she wouldn't leave the house for two weeks... I didn't buy it. And so I'm throwing this one back into the pond and moving on.
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  • Jennifer Lavoie
    January 1, 1970
    To get this book, you need to add the following things in a blender: Sherlock Holmes, New York City, Jack the Ripper, and Gangs of New York. Add a dash of unique and excellent characterization and you have one explosive novel that will not let you put it down until you're finished, no matter how tired you may be. Argenti and Jameson are excellent characters that must follow Jack the Ripper as he terrorizes New York City. Jameson, a former investigator of the Ripper murders in London, has moved t To get this book, you need to add the following things in a blender: Sherlock Holmes, New York City, Jack the Ripper, and Gangs of New York. Add a dash of unique and excellent characterization and you have one explosive novel that will not let you put it down until you're finished, no matter how tired you may be. Argenti and Jameson are excellent characters that must follow Jack the Ripper as he terrorizes New York City. Jameson, a former investigator of the Ripper murders in London, has moved to New York. The Ripper seems to have followed him there. Argenti, an investigator from NYC, is one of the few cops left who haven't been corrupted by the crime boss Tierney. Both Argenti and Jameson are excellent characters because they have their flaws which make them all the more human: Argenti is hiding a secret about his sister, Marella, and Jameson is hiding a family secret that could put him in danger. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and was kept guessing until the very end. And the last sentence of the book made me gasp. I'm very glad that this appears to be the first in a series, because I loved the characters and want to read more of them. Argenti and Jameson have great chemistry when working together, and they compliment each other much like Holms and Watson do. That's not to say that they're a copy of those two famous literary figures, though. No, far from it. They're unique and perhaps even deeper because of their flaws. I HIGHLY recommend this book if you like a good mystery or are a fan of either Sherlock Holmes or Jack the Ripper style books. Excellent read.
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  • Kara-karina
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 stars What if famous Jack The Ripper got tired of London and moved to a fresher start in New York? With that concept I was hooked. This is a pretty good historical fiction, systematic, meticulous and... slightly boring. I found it interesting but more from the scientific point of view. Both Jameson and Argenti are good partners. Jamison is a criminologist from London, aristocratic, sophisticated and slightly mentally disturbed. Argenti is an American who went from a beat cop to a detective 3.5/5 stars What if famous Jack The Ripper got tired of London and moved to a fresher start in New York? With that concept I was hooked. This is a pretty good historical fiction, systematic, meticulous and... slightly boring. I found it interesting but more from the scientific point of view. Both Jameson and Argenti are good partners. Jamison is a criminologist from London, aristocratic, sophisticated and slightly mentally disturbed. Argenti is an American who went from a beat cop to a detective and who knows the streets of New York from the inside out.When they get partnered there is a little bit of tension, mostly because Jameson is clueless of the cultural and societal gap between them and sometimes does bizarre, snobby things, but the reader forgives him because his heart is in the right place.The Ripper is an intriguing character and we don't see who he is until the very end, but there is also a dirty political power struggle going on a the same time, making the investigation unnecessary muddled.One of the local mafia bosses bids on a corrupt policeman to become a chief, and to do that he needs to be the one to solve the Ripper case, which is why Jameson and Argenti stumble through many more delays and obstacles than they should have had.Overall, Letters from A Murderer would have benefited from a faster pace and less dry main characters, but otherwise it was a nice book.
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  • Mieneke
    January 1, 1970
    Jack the Ripper's identity is a mystery for the ages. As the first modern serial killer and certainly the first whose acts have been so well documented, he has been the inspiration for countless stories, many of them creating their own solution for the riddle of who he was. Letters From a Murderer is the latest novel in this vein and it has to be said, the story John Matthews paints is riveting. It's clear that Matthews knows his Ripper history and he weaves in some very detailed facts into his Jack the Ripper's identity is a mystery for the ages. As the first modern serial killer and certainly the first whose acts have been so well documented, he has been the inspiration for countless stories, many of them creating their own solution for the riddle of who he was. Letters From a Murderer is the latest novel in this vein and it has to be said, the story John Matthews paints is riveting. It's clear that Matthews knows his Ripper history and he weaves in some very detailed facts into his fiction, making his story that much more plausible.Letters From a Murderer plays off the assumption that one of the possible reasons of the sudden stop to the Ripper murders was because he emigrated. In the book the Ripper has moved to New York and has resumed his bloody work in the seething ant hill that is the poorer quarters of the metropolis. Once a connection is made to the Ripper murders, the London authorities refer the New York Police Squad to Finley Jameson, a Brit and former protégé of the London criminalist Thomas Colby, who has been living in New York after the death of his aunt. Jameson is called in to consult with the new lead investigator on the case, Joseph Argenti.The title is a great word play on both the letters the Ripper sent to the police and the press – the first of which famously began Dear Boss... – and on one of the plot points. The case is very much a psychological game between Jameson and Argenti on the one hand and the Ripper on the other. The Ripper makes the case personal by blaming the further deaths of any victims on Jameson for not catching him sooner. Matthews succeeds in making the reader doubt everyone, the only one whose veracity is never suspect is Argenti. Argenti is a good man and an upstanding police officer, a fact that results in a great subplot to the novel. Corruption was rife in the NY police force at the time and Mathews incorporates this into his story through the antagonism between Argenti and McClusky and other cops on the take. McClusky is in the pocket of Michael Tierney, one of the big crime lords of the city, and their animosity towards Argenti, not to mention their need to keep their agreement under wraps creates some interesting situations for our intrepid investigators. It made the story less about the Ripper case and more about the characters of Argenti and Jameson, while at the same time adding extra tension to the Ripper story line.Argenti and Jameson are fascinating characters. There are some Sherlockian overtones in both Jameson, with his less-than-recreational use of the poppy, and in his assistant Lawrence, who has an almost savant-like recall. Like Holmes there are also rumours of mental illness, which in Lawrence's case are well known. Jameson is a privileged member of the upper class and as such doesn't always blend very well with those he works with and investigates. But for all his short-sightedness and occasional boorishness to those less-fortunate than he, he isn't a bad man. This is illustrated by his taking Ellie Cullen under his wing to teach her how to read. I loved Jameson's interactions with Ellie. She's a fabulous character and I liked how Matthews leveraged her to humanise the victims, especially since society at large at the time didn't really seem to care about these women whose work was less than respectable and lived on the edges of society. This is re-enforced by Argenti's feelings whenever he has to notify the parents of another victim. He sees them as human first and foremost and not as beneath notice. Argenti is a bit older and a solid working cop, with a loving family life. I liked that they were included in the novel; we see him around them and the love shared among them, which might go some way to explaining his sympathy for the grieving parents, but Argenti is also a man with a secret. We learn the full extent of his secret late in the book and it makes a lot about Argenti clearer, though it's more of a deepening of our understanding than that he's revealed in a new light.Letters From a Murderer was a compelling read with two fabulous lead investigators, who I hope we'll get to see much more of in the future. Matthews tells a great story laced with pathos and unexpected twists, which I just couldn't put down. It was an exciting and gripping narrative, which elaborates on the Jack the Ripper mystery in a novel way. If you enjoy historical crime fiction, this is the book to put on your Christmas wish list this year.This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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  • Aleshanee
    January 1, 1970
    Zum Inhalt1891, November in New YorkDie Prostituierte Camille wird in den dunklen Gassen New Yorks brutal ermordet. Gleichzeitig trifft ein Brief bei der "Times" ein, der die Vermutung nahelegt, dass Jack The Ripper wieder zugeschlagen hat.Sir Thomas Colby, der die Ripper-Morde in London über Jahre verfolgt hat, schickt seinen besten Studenten in die Metropole, um der Polizei bei der Aufklärung zu helfen: Finley Jameson. Zusammen mit Joseph Argentini macht er in den korrupten Straßen Jagd auf de Zum Inhalt1891, November in New YorkDie Prostituierte Camille wird in den dunklen Gassen New Yorks brutal ermordet. Gleichzeitig trifft ein Brief bei der "Times" ein, der die Vermutung nahelegt, dass Jack The Ripper wieder zugeschlagen hat.Sir Thomas Colby, der die Ripper-Morde in London über Jahre verfolgt hat, schickt seinen besten Studenten in die Metropole, um der Polizei bei der Aufklärung zu helfen: Finley Jameson. Zusammen mit Joseph Argentini macht er in den korrupten Straßen Jagd auf den brutalen Mörder, der ein perfides Spiel mit dem Ermittlerduo treibt, denn beide haben ein dunkles Geheimnis, das sie vor der Öffentlichkeit verbergen wollen.Meine MeinungAuf dieses Buch hab ich mich sehr gefreut, denn historische Kriminalfälle finde ich besonders spannend, weil man gleichzeitig auch in eine ganz andere Zeit eintauchen kann. Das hat der Autor hier auch wunderbar umgesetzt, weil man von der ersten Seite an in die düsteren Atmosphäre eintaucht, was mich ein bisschen an den Film "From Hell" erinnert hat. Vor allem New York ist noch ein Neuland für mich, da die meisten Krimis, die ich gelesen habe, in London spielen. Der Schreibstil ist auktorial aus verschiedenen Perspektiven und an die damalige Zeit angepasst ohne überzogen zu wirken. Flüssig zu lesen - aber man sollte sich mit dem Buch Zeit lassen, damit es wirken kann.John Matthews streut viele Details in die Handlung ein, die die Kulisse beleben. Die Kutschenfahrten mit den "Hansoms", die elektrischen Straßenbahnen, die noch ganz ungewohnt sind, die geduldeten Opiumhöhlen, die schlimmen Viertel, in denen Prostitution, Gewalt und Korruption herrscht und die feinen Gentleman mit Bowler, die mit ihren Damen flanieren. Man bekommt einen sehr guten Eindruck und ich hab mich direkt in diese Zeit hineinversetzt gefühlt!Der Zeit entsprechend waren die Charaktere für mich etwas ungewöhnlich, aber sehr gut dargestellt. Finley Jameson ist erst seit kurzem von London nach Amerika gezogen, zusammen mit seinem Assistenten Lawrence. Teilweise wirkt er distanziert und launisch, ist aber auf dem Gebiet der Kriminalanalyse ein Wegbereiter. Er trägt ein dunkles Geheimnis mit sich, vor dem er schon seit Jahren mit dem Genuss von Laudanum flieht. Der Umgang mit ihm ist nicht immer einfach, was die Zusammenarbeit mit Detective Joseph Argenti nicht leicht macht.Joseph ist verheiratet und hat drei Kinder, ein eher gesetzter, zielstrebiger Mann, der die Probleme an der Wurzel packt. Doch er muss nicht nur einen Mörder jagen, er hat auch einen korrupten Kollegen am Hals, der nichts unversucht lässt, um die Ermittlungen und den damit zusammen hängenden Erfolg an sich zu reißen. Auch die Nebenfiguren waren alle sehr individuell, ich hätte mir aber noch ein bisschen mehr Tiefe gewünscht. Obwohl jede von ihnen einen greifbaren Eindruck gemacht hat, kam ich vor allem auch an die zwei Hauptprotagonisten noch nicht richtig dran. Was sich aber im Laufe der Reihe noch ändern kann, es ist halt einfach noch ein bisschen Luft nach oben :)Oft werden unnötige Abläufe gekonnt übersprungen, dagegen wiederum manche kleine Szenen etwas umständlich beschrieben. Insgesamt war es aber durchwegs fesselnd und es gab viel Abwechslung. Die Finte, die der Autor hier gelegt hat, war mir zwar etwas zu durchschaubar, hat der Spannung aber nicht geschadet. Das Ende lässt noch einige Möglichkeiten offen und ich freue mich, dass es noch einen weiteren Band geben wird!Wer ein Fan von der historischen Krimireihe Timothy Wilde von Lyndsay Faye ist, dem wird "Stadt in Angst" auch gefallen :)FazitEin sehr authentischer Kriminalfall im New York des 19. Jahrhunderts, der mich vor allem mit seiner lebendigen Atmosphäre und der düsteren Stimmung gefesselt hat. Auf jeden Fall zu empfehlen!© AleshaneeWeltenwandererFinley Jameson & Joseph Argenti1 - Stadt in Angst2 - (im Original: Diary of a Murderer)
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  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    The perfect blend of fact and fiction seeps a bloody trail across John Matthews' LETTERS FROM A MURDERER, a book that revisits Jack the Ripper and his terrorising murder spree in the 1890's. In this take on the infamous Ripper murders, the genius-like Jameson and hard nosed cop Argenti investigate the untimely end of a number of women of the night; those with loose morals and wanton ways who peddle their most valuable commodity for survival in pre 1900's America. Yes, that's right, the Ripper ha The perfect blend of fact and fiction seeps a bloody trail across John Matthews' LETTERS FROM A MURDERER, a book that revisits Jack the Ripper and his terrorising murder spree in the 1890's. In this take on the infamous Ripper murders, the genius-like Jameson and hard nosed cop Argenti investigate the untimely end of a number of women of the night; those with loose morals and wanton ways who peddle their most valuable commodity for survival in pre 1900's America. Yes, that's right, the Ripper has crossed continents to slice fear into the severed arteries of the American public.Compounding the murders is another criminal dynamic; an underworld organisation of sorts that runs girls, drugs and controls the beat cops in the broken down alleyways of New York. Not wanting the Ripper murders to get in the way of business, nor bring unwanted attention, Jameson and Argenti find themselves the target of first an assassination and then suspects in the prostitute killings.LETTERS FROM A MURDERER captured the essence of the murderous Ripper period to perfection. Both London and New York had a real sense of place and their own unique identity. The police investigation showcased the true nature of law enforcement at the time detailing it's limitations and reliance upon personal accounts of eyewitness to bring forth justice. It's a dramatic difference to the technology used in real and fictional world crime fiction today.For me, author John Matthews ticked all the right boxes. From the interesting and odd coupling of Jameson and Argenti, to the characterisation of peripheral prostitutes and victims. Each element was three dimensional and invoked a sense of realism which helped transport me to the time where this heinous tale of bloodshed was splashed across the headlines. I hope readers get the opportunity to enjoy more stories to feature Jameson and Argenti, I got the impression, we're just scratching the surface of their potential. Fans of historical crime, and crime fiction in general will get a real kick out of reading LETTERS FROM A MURDERER. Highly recommend.This review first appeared on my blog: http://justaguythatlikes2read.blogspo...
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    4.5* awesome! A thrilling tale of murder, corruption and trust, Letters From a Murderer is an exciting and captivating read and entirely unputdownable. As soon as Caroline from Angry Robot sent out the email displaying the cover and blurb of this book I just knew that I had to have it. It sounded so incredibly dark, mysterious and chilling that I could not pass it by. Needless to say, this book exceeded my expectations and I really hope that we get to read more of the adventures of Finley Jameso 4.5* awesome! A thrilling tale of murder, corruption and trust, Letters From a Murderer is an exciting and captivating read and entirely unputdownable. As soon as Caroline from Angry Robot sent out the email displaying the cover and blurb of this book I just knew that I had to have it. It sounded so incredibly dark, mysterious and chilling that I could not pass it by. Needless to say, this book exceeded my expectations and I really hope that we get to read more of the adventures of Finley Jameson and Joseph Argenti.This book is incredibly reminiscent of those such as Sherlock Holmes and I lapped it up. I loved it. I loved the chemistry between Argenti and Jameson and just could not wait to read more about them. I loved that Jameson was so eccentric and that both of these characters had such depth to them. With both characters with troubled pasts, I was eager to discover why they reacted in certain ways in certain situations within the novel. I loved that they were both complete opposites, just like Sherlock and Watson, but that they worked so incredibly well together.The addition of the depiction of the sleazy underbelly of the city of New York was brilliant and added further excitement to the plot. Not only must Jameson and Argenti discover the identity of the Ripper, but they must also battle against copy-cat murders and gang members. An incredibly dark and realistic tale, it was so addictive to read and I found myself praying that they would succeed in preventing these murders. I loved how Matthews depicted the corruption within the police force. It displayed how difficult it can be to solve something so awful under such pressure and with certain officers working against the cause. It showed the importance of appearance and reputation, displaying the true characters of several officers and the motives behind their actions. I cannot praise this book enough. A mix of neo-Victorian fiction, Sherlock Holmes and plenty of action, Letters From a Murderer made for a completely mind-blowing tale and left me wanting even more from the pair.
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  • Tien
    January 1, 1970
    I love mysteries and seeing that it was on Netgalley under Angry Robot, I got really really and I mean, really excited! At first, I was sort of hoping that it will have some steampunk component to it or something unexpected or a funky element (we’re talking about an Angry Robot publication here, c’mon!) but it was pretty nearly strictly mystery historical fiction albeit with some fact-stretching involved. I have, however, enjoyed the reading fairly well.This book, however, was similar to the Arc I love mysteries and seeing that it was on Netgalley under Angry Robot, I got really really and I mean, really excited! At first, I was sort of hoping that it will have some steampunk component to it or something unexpected or a funky element (we’re talking about an Angry Robot publication here, c’mon!) but it was pretty nearly strictly mystery historical fiction albeit with some fact-stretching involved. I have, however, enjoyed the reading fairly well.This book, however, was similar to the Archie Lean books I’ve read late last year. In fact, Joseph Argenti reminded me a lot of Archie Lean –both detectives of lower/middle-class background with good deductive minds who loved their jobs and are good at it. Their respective partners are both brilliant though world’s apart in temperament. I found Finley Jameson a lot more interesting though, faulty, nutty with some sweetness thrown in.Whilst I’ve read a lot of mystery, I’ve avoided most Jack the Ripper ones somehow. I’m not sure whether that was on purpose or whether none so far has truly grabbed my interest. Here’s where I confess my ignorance of the historical details of Jack the Ripper so I can’t comment what’s possible or not in this novel but I found the ending (personally) frustrating. Let’s just say that I wanted more than what I got.The crime was brutal. The case was intriguing. The chase thrilling. The characters appealing. With a great cover and Angry Robot as publisher –this one is a safe bet. If you loved Archie Lean, you’d like this book too and vice versa.Thanks to Angry Robot Ltd via NetGalley for the privilege of reading & review eGalley
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  • Chanzie
    January 1, 1970
    My Review:I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint. I expected it to have a Sherlock Holmes, detective mystery feel to it, and it completely consumed my attention, once I took the time to adjust and take to the book (As I was in Paranromal Romance mode). Characters: 4/5In the beginning it feels as if there are a lot of characters to place in the story, and to figure out how they all fit together. The characters are well developed and John captured that era perfectly. Finley James My Review:I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint. I expected it to have a Sherlock Holmes, detective mystery feel to it, and it completely consumed my attention, once I took the time to adjust and take to the book (As I was in Paranromal Romance mode). Characters: 4/5In the beginning it feels as if there are a lot of characters to place in the story, and to figure out how they all fit together. The characters are well developed and John captured that era perfectly. Finley Jameson - This is a character that keeps you guessing - he is a good guy and one of the lead investigators, but his past seems very well hidden and coincidences keep you intrigued.Joseph Argenti - Lead detective in the police department. I liked this character from the start. He is smart and observant. Sometimes the case scenes do get a bit overwhelming for him and he cannot understand Finley's detachment at first. McCluskey, McCabe, Tierney - I did not like these guys at all, but I guess that goes in line with them being the villains of the story. Plot, Writing style & Cover: 5/5It took me a a few chapters to realise that the opening paragraphs in chapter 2 were a letter and not a conversation, and that the letter was from the Murderer and not from Jameson's mentor (Colby) in London. The plot flows easily, is intriguing and captures your attentions within the first few chapters. Some parts are a bit gory but not overly descriptive, nothing a weak stomach can't handle, but still disturbing. John writes well and knows how to write a good mystery. I LOVED the cover. It is probably what drew me to the book in the first place.
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  • Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    Review copied from my blog http://ineedthatbook.blogspot.comI know this is jumping right into things but I need to say it, I really hope the author carries on with this series. The plot is based on the notorious murderer 'Jack the ripper', a mystery that has gripped people since the time of the murders in Victorian London, so it's something a lot of readers will go into already being comfortable with the setting. The idea of the ripper going to the U.S. and carrying on with his work isn't exactl Review copied from my blog http://ineedthatbook.blogspot.comI know this is jumping right into things but I need to say it, I really hope the author carries on with this series. The plot is based on the notorious murderer 'Jack the ripper', a mystery that has gripped people since the time of the murders in Victorian London, so it's something a lot of readers will go into already being comfortable with the setting. The idea of the ripper going to the U.S. and carrying on with his work isn't exactly a new one but Mathews explores it well. The author provides the reader with well fleshed out characters and the reader gets to see parts of the story from the points of view of different characters, allowing the reader to know more about events than the characters but not enough to get too far ahead and sit around waiting while the characters play catch up.I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to fans of literature set in the 1800’s particularly those who also enjoy mysteries. Fans of Conan Doyle may also find this book to be of interest. The answer to the riddles aren't obvious and at many points in this novel the characters find themselves having to face more than one adversary and question exactly what can be trusted. All in all a good read, there’s nothing in there likely to give you nightmares so I’d suggest this one as a good bedtime read.
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  • Thebooktrail
    January 1, 1970
    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 Ar 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.the full booktrail around the streets of New York - Letters from a murderer
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  • Mikka Gottstein
    January 1, 1970
    Es gibt eine Vielzahl von Filmen, Comics, Computerspielen und natürlich Büchern, die den Fall Jack the Ripper aufgreifen. Daher drängt sich die Frage auf: Kann "Stadt in Angst" wirklich noch etwas Neues bringen, das dem Roman aus der Masse heraushebt?In meinen Augen schafft John Matthews das leider nur bedingt. Er scheint die Hintergründe und die Gegebenheiten dieser Zeit durchaus gut recherchiert zu haben, die Geschichte ist solide konstruiert und geschrieben... Aber dennoch kam bei mir keine r Es gibt eine Vielzahl von Filmen, Comics, Computerspielen und natürlich Büchern, die den Fall Jack the Ripper aufgreifen. Daher drängt sich die Frage auf: Kann "Stadt in Angst" wirklich noch etwas Neues bringen, das dem Roman aus der Masse heraushebt?In meinen Augen schafft John Matthews das leider nur bedingt. Er scheint die Hintergründe und die Gegebenheiten dieser Zeit durchaus gut recherchiert zu haben, die Geschichte ist solide konstruiert und geschrieben... Aber dennoch kam bei mir keine rechte Begeisterung auf und ich hatte öfter das Gefühl, Ähnliches schon gelesen oder in Filmen gesehen zu haben.Und das fing mit dem Protagonisten schon an: dem Aristokraten Finley Jameson. Er war bereits an den Ermittlungen der Mordfälle in Whitechapel beteiligt und lebt durch einen glücklichen Zufall inzwischen in den USA, so dass er auch bei den neuen Morden als beratender Ermittler fungieren kann.Er wird als hochintelligent beschrieben und steigert sich wie besessen in seine Ermittlungen hinein. In diesen Phasen kann er ein sehr unleidlicher Mensch werden, der seinem Hausmädchen das Leben schwer macht. Das hat mich sehr an Sherlock Holmes erinnert! Aber am meisten hat er mich an den Polizeiinspektor Frederick Abberline erinnert, wie er im Comic "From Hell" und dem gleichnamigen Film mit Johnny Depp dargestellt wurde. Wie Abberline frönt er dem Opium und hat Visionen, und wie Abberline kommt er einer Prostituierten näher, die mit dem Fall zu tun hat.Interessant fand ich dennoch Finleys problematische Hintergrundgeschichte, die nach und nach im Laufe des Buches enthüllt wird. Im zur Seite stehen zwei Männer, die mir im Prinzip auch sehr gut gefallen haben: sein autistischer Gehilfe Lawrence und Joseph Argenti, der Polizist, der die Ermittlungen leitet. Beide sind komplexe, ungewöhliche Charaktere, hinter denen mehr steckt, als man auf den ersten Blick erwarten würde.Lawrence kam mir allerdings manchmal etwas unglaubwürdig vor, denn er soll autistisch sein, zeigt aber nur sehr wenige entsprechende Verhaltensmuster. Eigentlich äußert sich sein Autismus meist nur dadurch, dass er quasi das wandelnde Wikipedia des späten 19. Jahrhunderst ist. Wenn Finley etwas wissen möchte, muss er nur Lawrence fragen, denn der weiß scheinbar alles und kann auch alles berechnen. Das macht es Finley in meinen Augen oft zu einfach, so dass er seine eigene Brillianz kaum zeigen kann!Passagen der Geschichte werden immer wieder aus Sicht des Rippers erzählt, was ich einerseits interessant und gelungen fand, mir aber andererseits schon früh in der Geschichte ein bisschen vom Mysterium und der Spannung des Unbekannten nahm. Vieles wird für mich auch nicht befriedigend erklärt. Zum Beispiel weiß der Ripper scheinbar alles über Finley und Lawrence, auch Geheimnisse, die man durch reine Beobachtung gar nicht herausfinden kann - woher? John Matthews bringt viele verschiedene Themen und Nebenhandlungen in die Geschichte ein. Man erfährt viel über die Gesellschaft und das Leben im Amerika des 19. Jahrhunderts, besonders das harte Leben der Armen und weniger Privilegierten. Und obwohl ich das alles eigentlich interessant fand, kam für mich in der ersten Hälfte des Buches nur wenig Spannung auf. Der Ripper hält die Fäden in der Hand, und die Polizisten stolpern ihm quasi von Mord zu Mord hilflos hinterher - immer ein wenig zu spät, denn er ist ihnen stets einen Schritt voraus. Mehr als einmal greift er ihnen fast schon unter die Arme, indem er in seinen Briefen Dinge verrät, die sie wissen müssen!Die Geschichte kam für mich erst im zweiten Teil des Buches richtig in Fahrt, aber ab da fand ich sie dann auch sehr unterhaltsam. Endlich kann Finley wirklich zeigen, wie intuitiv und genial er ist, und was für ein gutes Team er, Argenti und Lawrence abgeben. Auf einmal gehen die Dinge Schlag auf Schlag, und es gibt Szenen von geradezu cineastischer Action - Verfolgungsjagden! Zugunglücke! Schießereien!Leider hat mich das Ende dann wieder eher enttäuscht, denn das kommt ziemlich abrupt und kam mir sehr konstruiert vor. Vorher wurde viel Aufhebens darum gemacht, dass der Ripper tatsächlich ein übergeordnetes Motiv für seine Morde hat, damit quasi eine Botschaft verkünden will... Aber tatsächlich fand ich den Grund dafür dann eher banal. Der Schreibstil liest sich durchweg angenehm und flüssig. Die Sprache klingt modern genug, um dem modernen Leser das Lesen nicht zu schwer zu machen, aber dennoch für die Zeit angemessen. Nur manchmal hat mich an Dialogen unangenehm berührt, dass zwei Charaktere sich gegenseitig Dinge erzählen, die beide schon wissen - wohl, damit der Leser sie auch erfährt.Fazit:Jack the Ripper ist nach Amerika geflohen und führt dort seine Mordserie weiter. Auf dieser Grundlage erzählt Autor John Matthews eine gut recherchierte, fundierte Geschichte, die mich zwar halbwegs gut unterhalten, aber leider selten wirklich begeistert hat. Das Buch bietet einen interessanten Blick auf das Leben im späten 19. Jahrhundert, konnte aber in meinen Augen leider nicht mit großer Originalität punkten. Die Spannung kam meines Erachtens eher schleppend in Gang, und auch das Ende konnte mich nicht vollständig überzeugen.
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  • Vanessa Delamare
    January 1, 1970
    What I think of itWhat's about that book? The two main characters Jameson and Argenti, united for better or for worse. Worse, because Argenti, American copper, has some difficulty understanding Jameson, the English aristocrat, to the point where he began to suspect him. All opposed the street cop to the English pathologist. However, the duo works very well, helped by Lawrence, another great character who brings the better out of the two detectives. We like to follow their pilgrimage, we want to What I think of itWhat's about that book? The two main characters Jameson and Argenti, united for better or for worse. Worse, because Argenti, American copper, has some difficulty understanding Jameson, the English aristocrat, to the point where he began to suspect him. All opposed the street cop to the English pathologist. However, the duo works very well, helped by Lawrence, another great character who brings the better out of the two detectives. We like to follow their pilgrimage, we want to be part of their trio.The secondary characters are also very present, we learn to know the bandits, we know that when Brogan arrives, it will go wrong, that when Tierney comes, it will end badly for someone. So there are heroes on one side, the bad guys on the other side and in between the victims. Again, the author presents them - very briefly for some of them (just the time to die, in fact) - some girls we learn to know better. We get to know the "girls", to like them and fear for them, which makes the murders of the unknown ones more tragic because it could have happened to one of the girls that we know. This is a range of well thought and well written characters you learn to appreciate - or not when it comes to Tierney or Brogan...The atmosphere: cold, hard and filthy. We are not always in the most exclusive neighborhoods in New York. The docks are very presents, the shallows in background, taverns and brothels provide the framework for the novel. Of course, prostitutes being the victims, the poorest neighborhoods are affected, where crooks of all kinds reign. The contrast is even greater than when we follow Jameson and Argenti at the opera or in the best restaurants in New York.The investigation was initially conducted by an incompetent lined with dirty cops. Given the lack of results, Argenti takes over the investigation but it doesn't serve the purpose of some who resent the fact that the upright cop could gain prestige. Argenti and Jameson are launched on false leads in order to harm them, which also hinders the investigation when the killer continues to kill. This is a fight against the killer and against scammers and rogue cops in the city that the two detectives must lead.The pace accelerates as we go along traps and the progress of the investigation. When Argenti and Jameson find who is the culprit, he does everything to escape them. We are then entitled to some spectacular scenes of chases and attempted murders. The latter being orchestrated by both the killer who will not be taken and by the local ringleader, who wants Argenti to fail.In a nutshellFor lovers of TV shows, I would say that this novel is a beautiful blend of Ripper Street and Copper, as much for the atmosphere as for the characters. A very good book, full of action, chases and twists. This is the first novel about Argenti and Jameson and I can not wait to read more! I give it a 4/5.My thought on closing the book: That was some fun!(Originally posted at vanessa-s-bookshelves.blogspot.ca)
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    3.5I liked this atmospheric period piece set in New York in the 1890's. It is a stylish thriller that immersed me into a dull dingy gaslight world in its infancy of emerging into a brighter world of modern electricity. A world full of the 'hustle and bustle' of noisy smelly streets, dark sinister alleys with a crime detection force on the cusp of modern day forensics. Think Sherlock Holmes with a touch of The Gangs of New York and a dash of Deadwood, that would pretty much describe this novel. T 3.5I liked this atmospheric period piece set in New York in the 1890's. It is a stylish thriller that immersed me into a dull dingy gaslight world in its infancy of emerging into a brighter world of modern electricity. A world full of the 'hustle and bustle' of noisy smelly streets, dark sinister alleys with a crime detection force on the cusp of modern day forensics. Think Sherlock Holmes with a touch of The Gangs of New York and a dash of Deadwood, that would pretty much describe this novel. The plot is a generous mix of historical fact and supposition fiction and is a very credible piece. It places the murderer 'Jack The The Ripper' back in his homeland of New York where he leaves another bloody trail of slaughter on his latest murder spree.There are all the 'usual suspects' for a Ripper tale including police corruption, the criminal underworld, secrets and lies, and of course the unfortunate 'ladies of the night'. Other characters include Holmes', I mean Jameson's manservant, Lawrence, and the evil, sociopath Michael Tierney, of the Tierney mob.The pacing is steady throughout carefully building up a credible, sinister, sleazy, cut throat world in which the characters live. The characters are well drawn and fleshed out along with complex and flawed personalities. Argenti, a down to earth, perceptive immigrant cop in New York has been teamed up with the charismatic, highly privileged British 'toff', Finley Jameson. They are an odd couple indeed but the polar differences in their backgrounds and personalities works wonderfully well making 'Letters From A Murderer' an exciting, captivating, thrilling and believable read.The unlikely duo assisted by Lawrence battle to identify and apprehend the murderer to put an end to his slaughter, but their efforts are hampered by a possible copy cat murderer, and corruption within the force. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Letters From a Murderer' and look forward to reading more from the duo.Fans of historical crime, Jack The Ripper style books, and crime fiction in general will enjoy 'Letters From A Murderer'. I highly recommend it.I received a digital ARC from the Publisher via NetGalley and thank them for the opportunity to review this title.
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  • Alana
    January 1, 1970
    In a word ... brilliant.Over the years there have been a number of books, tv shows and films based on the Ripper murders. This is the best by far.I was gripped from page one right through to the end. The story, the characters, the setting, it was all perfectly executed. In fact, I am writing this now having finished reading it about ten minutes ago and my heart is still racing.I agree with the Arthur Conan Doyle meets Gangs of New York comparison, and one of the characters definitely brought to In a word ... brilliant.Over the years there have been a number of books, tv shows and films based on the Ripper murders. This is the best by far.I was gripped from page one right through to the end. The story, the characters, the setting, it was all perfectly executed. In fact, I am writing this now having finished reading it about ten minutes ago and my heart is still racing.I agree with the Arthur Conan Doyle meets Gangs of New York comparison, and one of the characters definitely brought to mind Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting.I could easily see this book being turned into a film and I can't recommend it highly enough.I give Letters From A Murderer 5 out of 5 stars.Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.My Rating System:1 star: I will never post a 1 star review because this means it was so bad I couldn't finish it, and I don't won't publicly rate a book I haven't read all the way through.2 stars: I may have liked the story but it was badly written or it may have been a boring story well written. Something about it kept me reading but I didn't enjoy it.3 stars: A good, enjoyable read. If the description appeals to you I'd recommend reading it.4 stars: A really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and may even read again. I will want to read other books by the same author. Highly recommend.5 stars: Reserved for books that blew me away and whose characters I can't get out of my head. These are books that I will definitely read again, possibly several times. If I read an e-book version I may even have to go buy a hard copy for my shelves. Why are you still here? Go read this book right now.
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  • Katie Sholty
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend. It was a preformed exquisitely. *review from my Audible account* What made the experience of listening to Letters from a Murderer the most enjoyable?Piers Wehner's narration was perfection. Each character's voice was distinct. The novel played out like a radio program from the 1940's. It was a pleasure to listen too.What was one of the most memorable moments of Letters from a Murderer?Matthews writing grips you and doesn't let you go until t I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend. It was a preformed exquisitely. *review from my Audible account* What made the experience of listening to Letters from a Murderer the most enjoyable?Piers Wehner's narration was perfection. Each character's voice was distinct. The novel played out like a radio program from the 1940's. It was a pleasure to listen too.What was one of the most memorable moments of Letters from a Murderer?Matthews writing grips you and doesn't let you go until the end. No one is safe from the Ripper. One such scene is when Argenti takes to the sewers following a lead. Its wrought with tension and reminiscent of Gothic horror.Which scene was your favorite?The scenes in which Jameson and Ellie interact with each other stood out among the rest. You have a well classed gentleman going out of his way to treat Ellie, a prostitute, as more than just her circumstances. Ellie's quick wit and banter put her as an equal to Jameson, which he finds endearing. I'm curious to see where this relationship goes.Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?Lawrence's internment in Bedlam and another such facilities is something you cannot forget. It sticks with you, as Lawrence who is deemed mentally insane, but today would most likely be determined to be autistic. His experiences and his meeting and becoming a ward of Jameson's is touching and powerful. Both characters battle their own personal struggles with different forms of mental illness, and yet where one fails the other is there to give a helping hand.Any additional comments?Beware, the murder and autopsy scenes are gritty.
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  • Beth Strand
    January 1, 1970
    “Letters from a Murderer” Will Be a Hit with Ripper ReadersIn February of 1891, the last of the “Ripper” murders occurred in London. With the same suddenness that they had begun, the murders stopped…or did they? A string of similar murders began in New York in November of 1891 and this string of murders even included one in New Orleans. Finley Jameson, former assistant to Sir Thomas Colby (the famous doctor who examined the bodies of the victims in London) in conveniently in New York and drawn i “Letters from a Murderer” Will Be a Hit with Ripper ReadersIn February of 1891, the last of the “Ripper” murders occurred in London. With the same suddenness that they had begun, the murders stopped…or did they? A string of similar murders began in New York in November of 1891 and this string of murders even included one in New Orleans. Finley Jameson, former assistant to Sir Thomas Colby (the famous doctor who examined the bodies of the victims in London) in conveniently in New York and drawn in to help with the case. This seems to suit the Ripper just fine as a series of letters begin to arrive addressed to Finley. Can the upright and uptight Jameson team up with Italian American detective Joseph Argenti to find the Ripper once and for all? Or, will the deep, murky waters of New York politics make it impossible to find the killer? Can both men get through the investigation with their secrets intact?“Letters from a Murderer” is a fascinating fictional look at the “ripper-esque” murders that occurred in New York after the Ripper stopped his horrible spree in Whitechapel. The book resonates well with the time period and John Matthews brings us characters that are both compelling and sympathetic (except the Ripper, of course, he’s quite as chilling as one might expect.) This is one of those books that will keep you up late turning pages. If you have an interest in the murders that still continue to stump historians, treat yourself to “Letters from a Murderer.” It may be fiction, but it’s a fine read and puts forward some interesting theories.This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Letters From a Murderer is an exciting read full of many twists and turns putting an interesting spin on the Jack the Ripper murders. Matthews does a great job with his world building drawing the reader into New York in 1891. His attention to detail is superb and the reader gets a really good feel for the period. The two main characters, Argenti and Jameson, are both developed really well and prove to be the perfect partners to solve this case and begin a friendship that will hopefully endure in Letters From a Murderer is an exciting read full of many twists and turns putting an interesting spin on the Jack the Ripper murders. Matthews does a great job with his world building drawing the reader into New York in 1891. His attention to detail is superb and the reader gets a really good feel for the period. The two main characters, Argenti and Jameson, are both developed really well and prove to be the perfect partners to solve this case and begin a friendship that will hopefully endure into another adventure. This case brings up painful moments from the past for both detectives, and I enjoyed how Matthews tied what was currently happening to what had happened in their past. Both characters really grow during the course of the investigation, and their two differing detecting styles really compliment each other. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters of Lawrence and Ellie. They both really added to the overall story. The book's main mystery is well done full of suspense as well as many twists and turns. I also liked how Matthews complicated matters for the investigation with interference from an outside party. Overall this book proved to be a great read that I would most definitely recommend for any mystery enthusiast. I am definitely hoping to see another adventure with Argenti and Jameson.Received a copy of Letters From a Murder through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • John Hennessy
    January 1, 1970
    I watch a lot of crime programmes. On Saturdays here in the UK, there are a batch of them on television, FBI Files, Solved, Murder Shift, Couples Who Kill, Born to Kill and so on.I don't have a healthy interest in killers in themselves, but I am interested in why they do what they do, and the detectives who resolve to capture them.This book, like Chene's review said, required me to shift focus as I haven't read a book like this in a while. It was gory on a level of the horror 'Screamscapes' whic I watch a lot of crime programmes. On Saturdays here in the UK, there are a batch of them on television, FBI Files, Solved, Murder Shift, Couples Who Kill, Born to Kill and so on.I don't have a healthy interest in killers in themselves, but I am interested in why they do what they do, and the detectives who resolve to capture them.This book, like Chene's review said, required me to shift focus as I haven't read a book like this in a while. It was gory on a level of the horror 'Screamscapes' which I am also reading, and enjoying.The book has gripping characters which has already been commented on. As a thriller, it works brilliantly and shows the powers of recommendations from friends of books. You can decide if it is for you or not, but the style (literally 'letters' which explain much of the plot) is engaging, different, and enjoyable.It was a hard read at times, simply because of the gore factor. Things were happening so brutally and explosively I had to take a break sometimes to take it all in.But any story about a 'Ripper' style killer has to be gory. It kind of reminded me - loosely - of the film 'From Hell' starring a marvellous Bilbo-free Ian Holm.Thoroughly recommended. It's also possible if I had my 'horror' hat on, I would give it five. I just didn't adjust to the gore too well. If you can get past that, and it is worth the effort, you will love this book.
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  • Michaela
    January 1, 1970
    Letters From a Murderer is incredible. I am in love with Jameson, I'll admit that right now. The toff. Swoon. On to less shallow stuff. The story cracks along at a rapid pace, never letting up for one minute. It sucked me right in. At times I was genuinely worried for our heroes despite the fact that this is the first in a series and that usually means the main characters are safe for a while. It's scary in the best way possible, that is, I was tucked up in bed and had shivers running up my spin Letters From a Murderer is incredible. I am in love with Jameson, I'll admit that right now. The toff. Swoon. On to less shallow stuff. The story cracks along at a rapid pace, never letting up for one minute. It sucked me right in. At times I was genuinely worried for our heroes despite the fact that this is the first in a series and that usually means the main characters are safe for a while. It's scary in the best way possible, that is, I was tucked up in bed and had shivers running up my spine, imagining dark alleys and blades dripping blood. If there's one thing the author knows how to do, it's create atmosphere.Five stars. I'd recommend it to fans of From Hell and Ripper Street. I'd also recommend it to everyone else too. Just read it. You won't regret it.
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  • Krissys
    January 1, 1970
    Letters From a Murderer is an astounding take on an 1800's Jack the Ripper suspense mystery. This book has got the full anticipation, the Sherlock duo and the high flying action building by a fantastic author creating a new face and a fresh take on the Ripper murders. John Matthrews does a great job writing a well developed story with well liked characters. A definite talent for all to enjoy.
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  • PopcornReads
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review & Giveaway: We’re participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop and we’ve chosen a very special novel for this hop’s giveaway. I love historical mysteries, particularly those from the Victorian era and, like so many others, I’m morbidly fascinated by whatever happened to Jack the Ripper. Letters from a Murderer is Book #1 in the new Jameson & Argenti Case series by bestselling author John Matthews, and it addresses both of those interests. Yay! We’ve got two copies to give a Book Review & Giveaway: We’re participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop and we’ve chosen a very special novel for this hop’s giveaway. I love historical mysteries, particularly those from the Victorian era and, like so many others, I’m morbidly fascinated by whatever happened to Jack the Ripper. Letters from a Murderer is Book #1 in the new Jameson & Argenti Case series by bestselling author John Matthews, and it addresses both of those interests. Yay! We’ve got two copies to give away to readers at http://popcornreads.com/?p=6655 - It can’t get much better than that!
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  • Lynda Birch
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book and strangely enough liked it more once I had time to think it over a bit. After I did some research on Jack the Ripper I came to appreciate how well Matthews blended fact, fiction and theory to create a believable and entertaining read. See my complete review on my blog http://birch-bark.blogspot.ca/
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  • Burgoo
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping gritty mystery set in gaslight NYC.Full review is here:http://fedpeaches.blogspot.com/2013/1...
  • Alison McMahan
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. I went back and studied it after reading it for pleasure, to see how the clues and red herrings had been set up. Would like to see more from this author.
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Picked this up as a freebie ages ago. Turns out what I ended up with is a so-called special edition, and what makes it special is the fact that it's more of a teaser encompassing only the first twelve chapters. Since despite the interesting premise, the story didn't manage to hook me and I didn't particularly care for any of the characters or the writing style, I doubt I'll go searching out the full version.
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  • Shawn Simmons
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, a decent read, though the narrator of the audible book cannot do an American accent at all.
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