It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.
Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force". And he is less than thrilled that his new beat is the notoriously down-and-out Sixth Ward - at the border of Five Points, the world's most notorious slum.
One night, while making his rounds, Wilde literally runs into a little slip of a girl - a girl not more than 10 years old - dashing through the dark in her nightshift... covered head to toe in blood.
Timothy knows he should take the girl to the House of Refuge, yet he can't bring himself to abandon her. Instead, he takes her home, where she spins wild stories, claiming that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of 23rd Street. Timothy isn't sure whether to believe her or not, but, as the truth unfolds, the reluctant copper star finds himself engaged in a battle for justice that nearly costs him his brother, his romantic obsession, and his own life.
©2012 Lyndsay Faye (P)2012 Penguin Audio
Perfect combination of excellent story line, well-developed characters, great pacing. The author displays a knowledge of history and language that makes it fun to look things up and never seems like it isn't pertinent to the story.
It totally drew me in and gave me a sense of being transported to a different time. There is nothing predictable, cliche or overdone about it.
Flawless performance, as far as I'm concerned. Again - nothing is annoyingly overdone. No verbal equivalent of "mugging" or bad acting. His accents are great. I'm really, really impressed. Over 60 audio books in, this one takes the cake.
I wasn't completely convinced by the listening sample. It was about Bird and not told from the same perspective as the rest of the book. When it switches to Tim's perspective about 5 minutes in, it really takes off.
I find this novel lacking a real edge to the story. I believe it was compared to The Alienist but I beg to differ. This book doesn't provide an edgy Gangs Of New York feel to the writing and this was disappointing. The author uses the slang used by criminals of the day but it lacks the true grit of street life. Where are the vivid descriptions of the crime sites? This is "murder lite"
work at a job that lets me listen to books all day I like history, good mysteries and humor
This is a good novel for those who enjoy historical fiction. The story is entertaining and the narrator I found quite enjoyable
That the characters are believable in their inperfection.
The authors ability to convey time and place.
Gotta love the main guy.
Probably the little girl, as she is so wise for her years and accepting.
Pleasantly surprised. I liked it better than Heartstone and perhaps a little less than Devil in the White City, a favorite.
I love historical fiction and I love learning about the history of NYC; this book covered both. I am secretly hoping this becomes a series because I will read them all.
Yes! Although the book began slow and I thought it just might be a little mild of a drama once the action begins you can't stop listening. Tim and Valentine's struggle to find the truth in a city filled with lies is incredible.
His accents and his attitude were spot on!
I loved Tim. He was just so pure even though life had wronged him. I learned to love Valentine.
If you enjoyed the movie Gangs of New York, you will LOVE this book.
I love reading and going on vacation with my family.
No, it was predictable and not believable.
I thought the narrator did not do a very good job of making me believe that his brother was a bad person and he didn't distinguish the individual charters very well. It all just ran together.
I definitely had higher hopes for this story set in New York during 1845. A sort of a "Jack the Ripper-like" person is causing panic in the city after 19 child corpses are found buried outside the city.
I would've given this one 2-stars because it was not believable and oh so predictable. The redeemer for the 3-star rating was all the information regarding Catholics of that period. I had absolutely no idea that they were considered heretic's because they "worshiped" the pope and people considered them ignorant for their beliefs. Catholics, Prodestants, Christians...aren't they all praying to the same god? I never cease to be amazed by the conflict religion creates.
Steven Boyers performance was BRILLIANT. He made Timothy Wilde come alive and jump off the page. This is great piece of historical writing. The characters are believable and well written. With Mr. Boyers performance and Ms Fayes writing, the characters are very easy to visualize. You will be drawn in and you wont be able to put it down. This book should be on everyone summer reading list.
Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!
Excellent gothic historical detective noir. ??Love this genre, and I think this will be the next big book in it. ??Faye did a wonderful job of research, setting and character, and her " flash" language is incredible, but made easy for the reader. ??Also, the audible version was just outstanding, so I have a new fab author and narrator to add to my list. ??I even enjoyed the video on the author's website and information on her background that shows you why this book feels so period right.
Even the names evoke the characters, in a Dicksonesque ??way. ??You know what you are going to get when in New York during the Irish potato famine, you have a small disfigured detective named Timothy Wilde whose brother is named Valentine Wilde, Mercy Underhill is the girl of Timothy's dreams, and Bird Daly is the little girl who has run from the scene of the crime. ??(And that's just the short list of perfect names). With all of that detail taken care of, the reader can just sit back and enjoy. ??
Here is an example of what makes Wilde so likeable, even before he starts figuring out how to solve a murder:
"Escorting Mercy down a block, depending on her mood, you might not be there for all the attention she pays you. ??And I'm not exactly Sunday, so to speak. I've never been a special occasion. I'm all the other days in a work week, and there are plenty of us streaming by without notice. ??But I could fix that, or I thought I could."
Faye also did a great job of giving the sense of the racial and prejudicial turmoil of the times without being trite or judgmental, and in outlining the true grit of the first police force in New York. ??If any of this appeals to you, go get your copy today!
I never quite realized that social institutions like the local police department had to be formed in each city. This is the story of NYC's new police force in formation in the early 1840s - it gives a lot of insight into the favoritism and mix of politics, corruption and the law that still tears at the fabric of our society. That entree into the birth of a big city police department in itself makes this a worthy listen.
The story and mystery within it is compelling, and yes, it has a lot of twists and turns. You don't need to worry when you are reading it whether you can predict the ending - you probably cannot. As much as anything, it is a story of learning to understand one's family, of trying to sort out racial and religious prejudices and overcome them, of filial and romantic love in the prism of the 1840s. Again, a worthy listen. Highly recommended.
No. There were sections of this book that moved along, but the story as a whole was very slow moving. I thought the author tried overly hard to develop the characters without really accomplishing the task. There was a bit of interesting history to it, but not enough to really save the story. I'd pass on this one.
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