I found Neil Storey's latest work disappointing and unsatisfying for a book which promises to reveal the connections between such iconic Victorian gothic themes as Jack the Ripper and the writing of Bran Stoker's novel Dracula. Much like the latter's conceit, Storey's account is told in fragments of carefully researched and well written historical data. However, at times it feels like you are reading two different books, one a biography of Bram Stoker, the other a summary of the case for Francis Tumblety as the perpetrator of The Whitechapel Murders. While Storey has discovered a personal connection between Tumblety and Bram's close friend Hall Caine, in the form of letters casting new light on Tumblety's personality, he fails to show any direct evidence of the influences of the real events of 1888 on Stoker's imagination. Not sure if it's literary criticism or historical mystery, this book falls down between the two.
This said, Storey's narrative history has drive and is full of detail : a reader unfamiliar with either Stoker or Tumblety coming across them here for the first time might well enjoy this more than I did. There are no Dracula Secrets, and any reader hoping that Bram Stoker hid the key to identifying Tumblety as the Ripper within the text of Dracula will be very disappointed.