The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: #1 in the Timothy Wilde series
Publication Date: 2015
The Short Version:
Timothy Wilde reluctantly becomes a member of the newly established New York City Police Department in 1845 and soon finds himself investigating a gruesome serial murder case.
Why I Read It:
This has been on my shelf for ages. I bought a copy when I was sent the second book in the series and now that the third book is due out soon I decided I was past due to pull this off my shelf.
From the publisher:
1845: New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland.
These two events will change New York City forever…
Timothy Wilde tends bar, saving every dollar in hopes of winning the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams are destroyed by a fire that devastates downtown Manhattan, he is left with little choice but to accept a job in the newly minted New York City Police Department.
Returning exhausted from his rounds one night, Tim collides with a girl no more than ten years old… covered in blood. She claims that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of Twenty-Third Street. Timothy isn’t sure whether to believe her, but as the image of a brutal killer is slowly revealed and anti-Irish rage infects the city, the reluctant copper star is engaged in a battle that may cost him everything…
I had heard such good things about this book when it was first released. Many people I trust were recommending it. I knew I’d probably enjoy it but for some reason both this and the second book in the series languished on my bookshelf. When I was in the mood to grab something that had been on the shelf for a while, this one caught my attention.
I like historical mysteries and Lyndsay Faye has done a remarkable job with this one. I reminded me a lot of the TV show Copper but 20 years earlier and the main character is not Irish.
Timothy Wilde is working as a bartender in 1845 New York when a fire takes away his home, his job, and his savings. His older brother uses his political influence to get Tim a job in the brand new New York City Police Department.
This was an interesting and well paced story. Most of the main characters are flawed but likable with a few exceptions. The time frame at the beginnings of the NYPD and the influx of Irish immigrants gives Faye a lot of fertile background for story lines and characters.
The mystery itself was rather complex and there were plenty of twists and turns along the way. I like it when I have several theories as I progress through a book and have to keep changing my mind before I get to the end.
There were plenty of interesting characters and I’m hoping that several of them will be back as I continue with the series. It took me a while to finally read this one after I bought it but I won’t wait nearly so long to read the second volume. Perhaps in time for the release of the third in May.