Carver Young has dreamed of being a detective for his whole life. The only information he has about his parents is a cryptic letter from London dated 1889, when Carver was 7, to "Boss" he finds in the orphanage's files. When the orphanage is to be moved, Carver, Delia and Finn, the three oldest of the orphans around 14, are told that there won't be room for them. Each is lucky enough to be adopted and Carver is taken in by a former Pinkerton detective who soon has Carver involved in a new Pinkerton agency that's working underground (literally) in New York, right under the nose of Teddy Roosevelt's police force. Carver's first case has him running across the startling series of murders that have started in New York that bear a striking resemblance to those of Jack the Ripper.
I loved the atmosphere of this book. The combination of Jack the Ripper, Pinkertons, and the urban fantasy feel of the adventure in New York city were fascinating. Also, I greatly enjoyed the very steampunk style of the gadgets that the New Pinkertons had developed, along with the steam powered underground train and elevator that they used as part of their headquarters. Watching Carver as he is taken under Mr. Hawking's wing and as Carver begins to find his feet in the deepening investigations was fun. I liked that for all Carver was very resourceful and brave, while having the habit of rushing into things before completely thinking them through. I appreciated the atmosphere and the tight pacing of the book, which kept reading later than planned more than once. I can't wait for the next in the series; seeing where Carver, Delia and Finn go will be very interesting!