(From the publisher):
The year is 1880, the setting Londons poor and dangerous Limehouse district, home to immigrants and criminals. A series of brutal murders has occurred, and, as Ackroyd leads us down London's dark streets, the sense of time and place becomes overwhelmingly immediate and real. We experience the sights and sounds of the English music halls, smell the smells of London slums, hear the hooves of horses on the cobblestone streets, and attend the trial of Elizabeth Cree, a woman accused of poisoning her husband but who may be the one person who knows the truth about the murders. The wonderfully rhythmic shifting of focus from trial to back alleys, where we come upon George Gissing, author of New Grub Street, and even Karl Marx, gives the story a tremendous depth and resonance beyond its page-turning thriller plot.
As the merchants, immigrants, and prostitutes of Limehouse panic, the murders attract the attention of three remarkable men of the times: Karl Marx, in his twilight, always under suspicion for being a foreigner, a Jew, and a radical; George Gissing, the struggling author who would go on to write that great indictment of London's pinchpenny publishing world, New Grub Street; and Dan Leno, the legendary star of the music hall and the precursor of Charlie Chaplin. As the police investigate, the popular press claims the killings are the work of a "golem" - a savage creature of Jewish folklore.
Original title: Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Amateur
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ 19th Century