The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye; page count 411.
I love this book! I honestly don’t want to write too much about the plot because I don’t want to accidentally give the game away, so I will just sum-up only the first couple of chapters.
1845, New York City. A young bartender, Timothy Wilde, leaves work with his head going ’round plans to marry a lady he is smitten with when a fire rampages through downtown Manhattan obliterating everything he owns. Suddenly finding himself with neither home nor job nor prospects, Wilde takes a job in the newly established New York Police Department monitoring the infamous Sixth Ward.
(The Sixth Ward encompassed most of the brothels, hovels and crime dens in New York City until after the Civil War. It was the location Five Points. Or for movie buffs, the setting for Gangs of New York.)
If that’s not enough to make you want to read this book, let me gush for a moment. The story is artfully crafted to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s incredibly well-written, sucking you into the grime of a nineteenth century metropolis. The characters are immensely lovable and realistic. Included is a bunch a newsboys so fantastic, I want to carry them around in my pocket. Faye’s attention to detail is just staggering.
Seriously, read this book. Read it if you like crime or mystery novels. Read it if you like historical novels. Read it if you like well-written characters. Read it if you like New York City. I promise you will not regret it.