Newman goes over the top in every novel (Night Mayor, Bad Dreams, Jago), each featuring a monstrous overlord of horror unlikely to be dethroned--but this time he leaps to new heights, drawing the Dracula novel that sets a benchmark for vampire fiction. Warning: the blood, well, you can't say it's overdone, for a vampire novel, but two qualities distinguish Newman's story: the immense physiological detail shoring up the reality of the undead, and the gathering sense of the author's enjoyment in what he does here--among other things, his sheer love of chockablock Victorian detail. The plot: Vlad Tepes, or Dracula, did not die as in Bram Stoker but rather survived and, political genius, rose to marry Queen Victoria in 1885 and become her consort. Dracula rules England, with Victoria doglike in a leash at his feet. What's more, it's now fashionable to be a vampire, especially among the nobility, while among the lower orders the change from ``warm'' to the immortal undead can be bought from any corner whore for the price of a shot of gin or draft of pig's blood at the pub. Jack the Ripper, however, hates undead whores and knows that destroying any vital organ can kill them. Who is Jack? None other that Stoker's Dr. John (Jack) Seward, who helped drive a stake into Lucy Westenra, Stoker's heroine. Jack's gone round the bend, living among a people who look upon vampirism as, well, pretty nice. The police assign Genevieve Dieuxdonne, a vampire detective, herself a half-century older than Dracula, to chase down Jack, assisted by Charles Beauregard, handsome henchman of Conan Doyle's The Diogenes Club, England's Star Chamber. Also on hand: Mycroft Holmes, Dr. Jekyll, and dozens of famed Victorians from literature and real life, all mingling in a fogbound milieu that rubs like cat fur on the reader's imagination. A bloody delight.