Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Gods of Gotham & Seven for a Secret - Two Book Reviews

I had a chance to review Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye. I'd heard good things and wanted to get my hands on it but I had one problem. I hadn't yet read The Gods of Gotham, the first novel featuring the brass star from New York City, Timothy Wilde. While some reviews of the second book assured me that it could stand on it's own (and really it can), I didn't want to miss out on The Gods of Gotham. I am so glad that I chose to read the first novel because it was thrilling, dark and absolutely wonderful.

After losing his home, savings, his job as a bartender and being scarred by the tremendous fire that burned wildly in New York City in 1845, Timothy Wilde is given another opportunity by his drug addicted, politically involved brother Valentine. The New York Police Department has just been formed and Timothy pins the brass star to his lapel, determined to help and protect.

In the early nineteenth century, a polluted pond in Manhattan was filled in and middle class homes were built on top. Unfortunately, the methane gas produced from the fill and the unstable ground, sent the middle class people scrambling for a more suitable neighborhood. The area, known as Five Points, would become a slum with a diverse population and a tendency toward violence. Timothy Wilde is assigned to patrol Five Points and is only on the job for a few weeks when he runs into a small girl covered in blood. Timothy is compelled to investigate.

In a city teeming with political corruption, poverty and racial tension with an increasing population as the potato famine sends a constant stream of immigrating Irish into the streets, Timothy Wilde struggles valiantly to maintain order and fight for the forsaken child victims.

A perfect blending of mystery and historical fiction, Lyndsay Faye follows up her first masterpiece with another equally thrilling novel. Seven for a Secret, is a wholly satisfying and enjoyable novel for fans of Timothy Wilde.

Six months after solving the mystery surrounding the bloody child, Timothy is settling into his new position with the police force. With a small office, he spends his days solving mysteries and returning stolen goods. His world will become dangerous and sensational once again, when a beautiful woman rushes into his office begging for help. Her sister and son have been kidnapped.

Timothy, with the help of a few friends including members of the New York Committee of Vigilance, will be embroiled in the mystery surrounding those who kidnap free blacks to sale them as slave in the South. Once again, Faye uses the horrifying history of the free blacks who inhabit the city and live in constant fear of being kidnapped in an enlightening and thrilling tale of horror and menace.

Often, when I finish a book I thoroughly enjoy it is difficult to begin another book. I was fully grateful that upon completing The Gods of Gotham, I could pick up Seven for a Secret and remain immersed in Timothy Wilde's dark and terrible New York City. Personally, I pray that Lyndsay Faye continues writing about her hero, for I am most definitely a fan.

Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye was published by Amy Einhorn/Putnam in September 2013.

**I received a complimentary copy of Seven for a Secret in exchange for my honest review. I purchased a copy of The Gods of Gotham for myself. All opinions are my own and no additional compensation was received.**

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