PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... comprehensive ... charts two explosive and intertwined narratives: a pair of gruesome homicides and the rise of American tabloid journalism ... will delight journalism nerds ... he advances a convincing argument that hard-boiled editors — including the fascinating and doomed Phil Payne — and their relentless reporters drove the most consequential twists of the case. (The female journalists who dominated the emergent true-crime beat deserve their own book) ... True-crime obsessives who like their murders tied up with a bow will be disappointed by the case’s lack of closure. But Pompeo tries to make the most of his loose ends. He has done a staggering amount of research — he recounts suspects’ jailhouse packing lists — although he can’t materialize forensic evidence where there is none. When the verdict arrives in the book’s final 50 pages, it lands like a sigh. Pompeo himself refrains from offering up his own best guess on the identity of the real culprit until the bitter end, and his restraint lets readers formulate their own theories about what happened beneath the crabapple tree. And while those cogs turn, sections that focus on the press shine. It’s a testament to Pompeo’s skill that his tabloid exegesis is just as riveting as a double murder in an open field. I could read several thousand more words on the eccentric vulgarian Bernarr Macfadden, whose newspaper was so crass it was nicknamed the PornoGraphic ... dead ends and false starts can drag on ... the slower moments of can read like a court stenographer’s notes ... To keep up the momentum, Pompeo has an unfortunate habit of borrowing a format from his tabloid source material. Several chapters end on exaggerated cliffhangers ... Flourishes aside, Blood & Ink is an addictive whodunit and a vivid depiction of a crime that gripped a generation of newspaper readers. It refutes the notion that our taste for the salacious is some product of People magazine or the internet age ... does unravel some of the mysteries of our present.