Golden Hill and The Alienist meet Gangs of New York in this sweeping historical crime drama set in 18th century New York.
New York, 1799: Justy Flanagan, lawyer, soldier, policeman, has returned to his native city, bloodied and battered after fighting in the Irish Rebellion against the English. Determined to hunt down the man who murdered his father, his inquiries lead him to Wall Street and the fledgling stock market there.
But as his investigations into the past move ahead, the horrific murders of young slave women in the present start to occupy his time. Convinced that there is a link between his father's murder, the deaths of the young women, and amassive fraud that nearly destroyed New York's economy, Justy can trust no one.
As the conspiracy deepens, it becomes clear that those involved will stop atnothing to keep their secrets. Justy is forced to choose: will he betray his father's memory, compromise his integrity, and risk the lives of his closest friends, to get to the bottom of a tale so dangerous, it could change the landscape of America forever?
Journalist Hirsch makes his fiction debut with a superb historical whodunit. In 1799, after four years studying law in Ireland, Justy Flanagan returns to Manhattan in search of the truth about the death of his father, Francis, a stock trader who reportedly hanged himself when Justy was 14. Convinced by new evidence that his father was murdered, Justy wants answers from William Duer, a "reckless speculator" and former ally of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, who was Francis's business partner before the 1792 financial crisis sent Duer to debtors' prison. But when Justy goes looking for Duer in Manhattan's New Gaol, he learns that his quarry is dead, and when he reunites with his uncle Ignatius, a powerful landowner who funded his education, he's met with skepticism about his theory. Justy persists, nonetheless, and Hirsch effortlessly incorporates the political and economic background of the time into the mystery. Fans of Lyndsay Faye's Gods of Gotham books will welcome this engrossing look at New York a half-century before that series.
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'The devils half mile' was a good book, it was well wrote and immersive, I could picture New York in the 1790's and all the characters there, following 'Justy' as he first steps of the boat and back to his home. There was plenty happening in the book to keep me turning the pages and I could lose myself in the writing. Though once I put the book down I did not necessarily feel compelled to pick it back up again, because I felt you could open it at any point in the book and feel you hadn't missed much. It was a good book though with a good plot, that I would recommend it to a friend. The detail of the writing was what really made this book for me, from the description of the streets of New York to how the characters spoke to eachother, the writer really takes you to the place of the plot.