The Worst Street in London promises to delve into the history of Dorset Street, once a street full of fairly well-to-do weavers making the most of their flourishing trade, that sank into disrepute as the work dried up and the weavers moved away. Apparently becoming the most notorious street in the whole of the city and one haunted by thieves, pimps, prostitutes and murderers, on reading this it turned out it was mostly populated by the desperately poor who were busy being fleeced by unscrupulous landlords who were bigger thieves and far more exploitative than any amount of the supposed criminals the street could offer up.
Rule does manage to include a bit on Jack the Ripper to lure in readers by widening her area past Dorset Street, but the most interesting part here is yet again on how the landlords of the rooms where his victims were found murdered didn’t even bother to clean any of the women’s blood up before moving more tenants in.
In all, I thought there was potentially a more interesting in-depth book here that focussed on how the greed and complete lack of scruples on the part of the landlords essentially created a cesspit of human misery that led to the crime decried on the book’s cover (being as they were mostly crimes driven by poverty) but overall I found this book completely underwhelming. I bought it for pennies after a kindle store recommendation, and must admit that if I’d paid any more than that for it, I’d have been severely disappointed.