It's the spelling errors and so forth that prevent me from awarding this very nicely-produced book five stars. There aren't a great many of them, but it is irritating when they do crop up, as the book, with its impressive CGI artwork, is otherwise a very welcome addition to the field.
The excellent CGI artwork almost transports the reader back to those dark and misty streets of gaslight, privation and vice. One really gets a sense of what it must have been like and also how such conditions were conducive to Jack's crazed killing spree.
This book would serve as a good general account of the Whitechapel murders for those new to them, and I thought the authors were right to highlight the attack on Annie Millwood - in my opinion quite possibly a precursor to the savagery that would unfold from August onwards that same year. There aren't many who point to this attack as evidence of Jack's first tentative foray into serial murder, but, as with the suggestion that magistrates' court records ought to be examined in an effort to discover Jack's formative offences (such as arson and cruelty to animals), I think that Millwood's assailant was quite possibly Jack the Ripper. Having said that, the Whitechapel killings is obviously not a clear-cut affair. For example, was it the case that, whilst Jack the Ripper was killing prostitutes, another future serial killer, Severin Klosowski (aka George Chapman), was residing at nearby Cable Street? Well, it does seem a little hard to believe that two sadistic killers were present in such a small locale (leading some to think that Chapman probably *was* the Ripper), but then we must also acknowledge that the Thames Torso murders were happening around the same time, and were probably unconnected to the Ripper's crimes. Thus, we should be wary about making confident assertions about the case.
So this book is, as I said, a welcome and novel addition to the field. Its CSI approach to the killings, the historical tidbits concerning pubs and the typography of the area, all serve to bring the reader closer to the crimes and to the period in general. It's just a pity that the work is slightly marred by the lack of proofreading.