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City of Light

Narrated by: Jan Maxwell
Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
3.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1901. Buffalo, New York, is poised for glory. With its booming industry and newly electrified streets, Buffalo is a model for the century just beginning.

Louisa Barrett has made this dazzling city her home. Headmistress of Buffalo’s most prestigious school, Louisa is at ease in a world of men, protected by the titans of her city. But nothing prepares her for a startling discovery: evidence of a murder tied to the city’s cathedral-like power plant at nearby Niagara Falls.

This shocking crime - followed by another mysterious death - will ignite an explosive chain of events. For in this city of seething intrigue and dazzling progress, a battle rages among politicians, power brokers, and industrialists for control of Niagara. And one extraordinary woman in their midst must protect a dark secret that implicates them all....

Please note: This is an abridged edition.

©1999 Lauren Belfer (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Suspenseful…A historical novel of high intrigue.” (People)

“Get your hands on City of Light, a full-to-the-brim first novel…a straight-through, sleepless read.” (Time)

"...an ingenious first novel." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

good historical detail

I enjoyed the reader and the story. Tells a tale of gender differences and budding feminism effectively. Also recounts the beginning of electricity for the masses and how that occured.
The more we hear of how men made fortunes on the backs of the poor yet telling the world what they were doing was for our own good, the more it is the same. Very apt with the BP disaster in the Gulf.
Wish the sequel - Radiance of Light was being put into audio.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Turn of the Century Story

I moved to Buffalo last year and saw this book. I love mysteries, so gave it a try. I read the first half, and really enjoyed the story & vibrant turn of the Century descriptions of the city of Buffalo & Niagara Falls. I decided to listen to the 2nd half as I wanted to continue the story while working/walking. I believe a lot of the book is left out of the audible version, which is too bad, and the reason I gave it only 3 stars. I would recommend the Book rather than the audio version, but if you're familiar with, from, or living in Buffalo this is a great read and a great listen if you're too busy to sit down with a book. Best recommendation if you're actually IN Buffalo: Save it for Winter and read the entire book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Problem with Narration

It sounded to me like the speaker was talking from a distance which made the audiobook hard to enjoy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story questionable audio

This is a good story blending history and drama. The narrator is fine. The audio quality is the shortfall. The sound is quite tinny and required equalization to keep from being unpleasant.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Protagonist Is Not Really a Modern Woman

I bought this book because the blurb sounded great, and it started out very well. The details about the beginnings of the electricity business and all the blurred notions of right and wrong that are part of any big money-making enterprise were very interesting. The protagonist is the victim of a crime--which goes unpunished by her or by others who know about it. The other crime that she uncovers in the true mystery of the story she decides to do nothing about. She really disappointed me as a woman; her choices were not those that a modern woman would make, and it ended up helping her not at all. The mystery is great, the history is interesting and chilling, but the protagonist was a disappointment to me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The author reading the book is a HUGE mistake

I read about 3 chapters of this book and was interested in finishing it. I was traveling and decided to purchase it on audible. What a mistake. The author's southern accent did not fit with the many Italian words she could not pronounce correctly. It was painful to listen to. I will finish the book, not the recorded version

0 of 1 people found this review helpful