Manhattan, 1902. Irrepressible heiress and intrepid sleuth Francesca Cahill moves from her own elegant world of Fifth Avenue to the teeming underbelly of society, a place of pride, passions ... and sometimes deadly perversions. Despite the misgivings of her fiancé, Calder Hart, Francesca cannot turn away from a threat that is terrorizing the tenement neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. A madman has attacked three women, but while the first two victims survived, the third is dead, raising the stakes. All the victims are impoverished but beautiful Irishwomen--and Francesca fears that Maggie Kennedy and Gwen O'Neil, two friends who live nearby, could be next. Soon she is working with her former love, police commissioner Rick Bragg--Calder's half brother and worst rival. But even as Calder's jealous passions leave his relationship with Francesca teetering on the brink, Francesca is frantically on the killer's trail, certain The Slasher will strike again--afraid she will be too late.