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Gilded Needles Audiobook

Gilded Needles

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the Black Triangle, New York's decadent district of opium dens, gambling casinos, drunken sailors, gaudy hookers, and back-room abortions. The queen of this unsavory neighborhood is Black Lena Shanks, whose family leads a ring of female criminals - women skilled in the art of cruelty.

Only a few blocks away, amidst the elegant mansions and lily-white reputations of Gramercy Park and Washington Square, lives Judge James Stallworth. On a crusade to crush Lena's evil empire, the judge has sentenced three of her family members to death. And now she wants revenge.

One Sunday, all the Stallworths receive invitations - to their own funerals. Can even the wealth and power of the Stallworth family protect them from Lena's diabolical lust for vengeance?

This first-ever republication of Michael McDowell's chilling classic of revenge features a new introduction by Christopher Fowler and cover art by Mike Mignola.

©2016 Michael McDowell (P)2017 Valancourt Books

What the Critics Say

"Riveting, terrifying, and just absolutely great...Michael McDowell must now be regarded as the finest writer of paperback originals in America." (Stephen King)

"One of the best writers of horror in this country." (Peter Straub)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (31 )
5 star
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3 star
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4.2 (29 )
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Story
4.4 (30 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Marcheta 06-28-17
    Marcheta 06-28-17 Member Since 2007

    love audio books - Anglophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This would make a great movie"

    Great writing, intriguing characters, and a cringe-worthy retribution plot. I loved it! I'm checking if Michael McDowell (author) & R.C. Bray (reader) have any other books on audible.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake1383 07-06-17
    Blake1383 07-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Revenge in post civil war New York"

    This book made me feel I was in the same room with the characters and seeing what they were going through. I really enjoyed this book and the suspense kept me listening. If you like historical fiction tale of Eye for an Eye you should check this out. RC Bray does an incredible job and during the book I forgot all the voices were just him

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa and Josh 07-02-17 Member Since 2016

    Josh enjoys sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, and LitRPG books while Melissa enjoys paranormal and romance/drama.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A tale of a plot with an unintended consequence"

    *** SPOILER ALERT ***

    Let me preface this review up front by stating this is not a tale I would typically search for (not one of my genres of choice). I stumbled upon this book as it was narrated and recommended by R.C. Bray through his Facebook page. Bray also narrated Michael McDowell’s other novel “The Elementals”. Needless to say, as I was a fan of the first novel and I am also a huge fan of Bray’s, I gave this one a shot.

    The book takes place in the mid-1800s and tells a tale that, as much as I would like to believe the opposite, probably still holds a strong basis in reality today. The Stallworth family, led by the Judge himself, holds a key role in the city while the Shanks family pursue multiple criminal endeavors from illegal abortion to the pawning of stolen merchandise in a lower end of town.

    Judge Stallworth presents an opportunity to boost the name of his firm while setting up a chance to ensure a future role for his close family. This opportunity presents itself as a huge news story which is based on the exploitation of families in the slums. Needless to say, this entire plan backfires when one of the Judge’s own becomes entangled with Maggie Kizer and sets in motion the receipt of funeral notices addressed to each member of the Stallworth family.

    The investigations being conducted in the Black Triangle are used as a way to create a bigger news story than really existed. The intent of these investigations was to bring about trials which would be handled by Judge Stallworth himself. When Maggie is sentenced to death, a confrontation occurs in the Black Triangle which leads to the previously mentioned curse being placed upon the family. One by one, members of the family begin to encounter their fate.

    Some of the moments which struck me as memorable throughout the book included the nature of the trial for Maggie Kizer. Given the plot set out by Judge Stallworth, her fate was already sealed well before the trial started. Again, tying back to one of my comments above, I wish I could say that I didn’t believe this happened as frequently as I feel it does in the modern day. Likewise, the way Duncan turned his back upon Maggie left me feeling angry as he tried to justify his actions against her. Her reactions upon learning this news really hit home and was one of the stronger emotional moments in the book.

    Later in the book, we get to see the Judge shifting blame for the entire situation over to Duncan and his affair with, and concealment of the relationship with, Maggie Kizer. Again, this was a very emotion provoking scene and I found myself quite angry as it was occurring.

    Overall, I feel this book merited a 4/5. It took quite a while to get to the meat of the story (6 hours into the audiobook) where the curse was issued. The buildup was good, but I feel it was drawn out at points.

    Bray was a fantastic narrator (as usual) and his vocalistic talents really shown through in his various accents.

    The slow up-take aside, I would recommend the book to others. It is a great tale and continues on McDowell’s ability to craft some truly emotion-provoking scenes.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Brooks Seattle, WA United States 06-29-17
    W. Brooks Seattle, WA United States 06-29-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Dark brooding downer"

    This book is read by R. C. Bray, one of my favorite narrators. Bray does a superb job on this book. But even Bray can't save this dark, dank depressing story. I mean it truly sucks the life out of You.
    I volunteered to review this book and in return got a free credit to buy it. Thank god! I would have hated to have spent a precious point on this drivel.
    Let me sum this up. Poor petty criminals vs. self-righteous assholes. The bad guys win. Hooray!
    Life's a bitch and then you die.
    I didn't like it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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