One of The Wall Street Journal’s Ten Best Mysteries of the Year
“Amazing...This is a series for the ages, it’s so spectacular.”—Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
1846: In New York City, slave catching isn’t just legal—it’s law enforcement.
Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property.
When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and where corpses appear in the most shocking of places…
Faye once again skillfully evokes the early days of the NYPD in this gripping and moving sequel to 2012's The Gods of Gotham, an Edgar finalist. One winter evening in 1846, Lucy Adams, a free black woman, calls on copper Timothy Wilde at police headquarters in the Tombs for help. Lucy's sister, Delia Wright, and her seven-year-old son, Jonas Adams, have vanished from their Manhattan home. Wilde quickly ascertains that even though Delia and Jonas aren't slaves, men seeking to profit from capturing them are responsible. Later, Wilde is horrified to discover the still warm body of a murder victim in the quarters of his police-captain brother, Valentine, and removes the body to a shanty near the Hudson to protect Valentine from being implicated in the crime. As this episode shows, Wilde makes mistakes but his fallibilities are at the core of his appeal, even as his doggedness and insights enable him to tease out what really has been going on beneath the surface. Simple but effective prose, a brilliantly constructed plot, and three-dimensional characters add up to another winner for Faye.
This is a very gripping story. You become immersed in 1845 New York City and you grow to care very much for the characters. I have loved everything I have read by Lyndsay Faye and this book is no exception. Truly amazing.