The year 1888 is most notably known as the year Jack the Ripper created terror in the streets of Whitechapel, murdering five, possibly six prostitutes and escaping from justice, the mystery of his identity lingering on through the years. But, as Stubley quite rightly points out, Jack's were not the only murders in London that year, and perhaps it is these others, lost to history, that are far more indicative of a particular time and place that the more celebrated ones of Jack the Ripper.
Stubley takes a relatively thematic approach, looking at the different kinds of murders and manslaughters committed in 1888 - vehicular accidents, street fights, illegal abortions, insanity pleas, husbands murdering wives, parents killing children, teenage gangs. With this approach he looks at the context surrounding the crimes, and it is telling just how often poverty and alcoholism play a major part.
What I found interesting is just how few of these cases resulted in the death penalty. The stereotypical view of Victorian justice was that it was harsh and extreme, the hangman's noose the inevitable end - but the majority of the cases involved pleas for mercy and only one ended up making the final drop.