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Publisher's Summary

The final installment in Lyndsay Faye’s Timothy Wilde series, which Lee Child called “solid-gold” and Gillian Flynn declared “spectacular".

No one in 1840s New York likes fires, copper star Timothy Wilde least of all. After a blaze killed his parents and another left him with a terrible scar, he has avoided flames of all kinds. So when a seamstress turned arsonist threatens Robert Symmes, a corrupt tycoon high in the Tammany Hall ranks, Timothy isn’t thrilled that Symmes consults him. His dismay escalates when his audacious and charismatic older brother, Valentine, himself deeply politically entrenched, decides to run against the incumbent, who they suspect is guilty of assault and far darker crimes. Immediately after his brother’s courageous declaration, Timothy finds himself surrounded by powerful enemies who threaten to harm those he cares about most.

Meanwhile, the love of Timothy’s life, Mercy Underhill, unexpectedly appears on his doorstep and takes under her wing a starving Irish orphan who may be the key to stopping the combustions threatening the city - if only they can make sense of her cryptic accounts. The closer they come to deciphering her wild tales of witches and angels, however, the closer Timothy comes to the fiery and shocking conclusion that forces him to face everything he fears most.

A boisterous and suspenseful audiobook from a master of historical adventure, The Fatal Flame is a tale for the ages.

©2015 Lyndsay Faye (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"As always in this series, the research is impeccable and the period ambience dazzling." (The New York Times Book Review)

“Lyndsay Faye’s New York trilogy is immersive, compelling, convincing, and yes, thrilling. Read it today for solid-gold entertainment, but don’t be surprised to see it taught in college tomorrow.” (Lee Child)

"Faye masterfully evokes the turbulence of mid-19th-century New York, with its Tammany Hall politics, burgeoning conflict over abolition, and rising wave of feminism, as Irish girls, fleeing famine, are forced into prostitution or poorly paid labor as seamstresses." (Booklist Starred Review)

What listeners say about The Fatal Flame

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

horrible narrator ruins good story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If you have listened to the other books in this series you know how great the narrator was. Unfortunately this volume has a different narrator. A horrible narrator. No feeling in his voice, monotone, the characters suffer for it. They just don't seem like the characters we have grown to love. I listened for 30 minutes and had to shut it off. It just wasn't right with the new narrator. All the passion and liveliness was lost. It is always disappointing when a new narrator starts in the middle of a series but what makes it worse is when the narrator ruins a very good story. I will happily read this book, but I will not suffer through listening to this atrocity of a narrator.

How could the performance have been better?

go back to the original narrator

25 people found this helpful

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This is what it would sound like if Siri read a book....

I miss the narrator for the other Timothy Wild books in this series. This narrator is terrible. It sounds like a computer and not a human. Totally devoid of emotion and an odd lilting of voice that doesn't follow the natural flow of human voice.
Good story (as usual) - but I will have to read it because this is the worst narrator ever.

11 people found this helpful

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Compelling historical fiction to be read in order

No Spoilers!
In the third volume of the Gods of Gotham series, Lindsay Faye continues the story of Timothy Wilde, a "Copper Star" (cop) who becomes the first detective in the recently formed police department of 1840s New York City. Poverty, slavery, racism, the fight for women's rights, the early labor movement exploited children, sweatshops, and political corruption, are all part of the scope of these books, as well as drug addiction, and intolerance toward gays, Catholics, and immigrants. Ever present just under the surface is the decades long lead up to the Civil War. This all sounds relentlessly bleak, yet Faye's evocative descriptions and knowledge of history pull the reader into this world, and his sense of humor, compassion for his characters and understanding of human beings in their infinite variety and imperfection are ultimately uplifting. I look forward to reading more of Faye's work.
A word about the narrator, Kirby Heybourne: His ability to voice myriad accents and dialects is impressive, but it's his female voices that I really appreciated. No simpering or weird high-pitched caricatures here. All the women's voices sound like they should, yet all (and there are many) are distinctive and varied. I would love to hear him again.

5 people found this helpful

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Warning!

PLEASE NOTE, the third book in this awesome series is narrated by someone else! He in no way gives you (the character) Timothy's gift of flash and the anticipated feeling is lost in seconds as the narrator of the third title of the series begins. He eventually warms up and has his compelling version of "Timmy" that has yearning to it, not all together inconsistent with the main character, but it's a loss just the same.

7 people found this helpful

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why did the narrator change?

I was disappointed that there was a different narrator from the from the other 2 books . Unfortunately this narrator doesn't do Timothy Wilde justice.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent historical mystery

Lyndsay Faye's trilogy about New York City's first police is stunning -- well written with vibrant characters and authentic dialogue as well as remarkable stories. My only regret is that she is now done.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story, HORRIBLE narrator

The first book in this series was one of the required books for my daughter's senior year english class, we both listened to it and were both hooked and wanted to continue the series. We also loved book 2, so of course had to get book 3. What a let down. The change in narrator was a terrible choice. We understand that there were probably very good reasons behind changing narrators, but the new one selected was a poor replacement for the original. You could no longer tell which character was talking. All the life brought to the characters was lost. There were times when we were pretty convinced that Siri had taken over reading, or a computer generated voice similar to that of Stephen Hawking had hijacked the book.

Although we soldiered on to finish the story we wouldn't recommend it to anyone until it is released with a different and much better narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Bring back the real narrator.

The original narrator for the first two books created wonderful voices and built the characters out so superbly. I cannot comprehend the reasoning for changing mid-series. I am really disappointed. The author is wonderful and I will purchase more written, but definitely stick with the same narrator through an entire series.

3 people found this helpful

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Performance was abysmal

I read the two previous books in this series and thoroughly enjoyed them, before my audible subscription. I was excited when I saw this book listed and was looking forward to the continued saga. What a complete and utter disappointment. The narrator sounded as if he was reading words as opposed to reading a story. I found it near impossible to follow the story and would constantly have to rewind to figure out what I was listening to as my mind tended to wander due to the dull presentation. Thank goodness for refunds. I’ll take this book out of the library instead.

2 people found this helpful

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New narrator

The previous two books were much better cast. The new narrator lapses into some sort of iambic monotony 75% of the time....
The book itself is on par with the previous two. Not amazing, but fun to read. Being a New Yorker I feel compelled sticking with it.

3 people found this helpful