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The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

The Gods of Gotham (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Lyndsay Faye

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7448612,508 (3.99)161
Title:The Gods of Gotham
Authors:Lyndsay Faye
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (Author) (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
I had to think long and hard about this before I wrote the review. The book was very good, don't get me wrong, but I just wasn't sure where to go with the review. To put it simply, I think I read it too quickly and missed a lot. The ending makes so much... sense, but I didn't see it coming and I totally should have.

I really like the depiction of the relationship between the brothers (Tim and Val). It's something I think a lot of people can relate to, even if they don't have siblings. I was disappointed with most of the other character relationships though. You could argue that Tim and Bird's was well developed, but it just felt like something was missing there. You could also argue that the other interactions are strictly professional because that's how Tim approaches them, since everything is work related for him. I guess I just wanted more out of them.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. I plan on reading it again at a later date to see if things fall into place better for me. I'm still debating if I'll read the next book or not. I don't typically stick with series that have the potential to not end, but this is a very different sort of time period compared to the others. It takes place back in the mid- 1800's, so Tim doesn't have the benefit of technology, just the observation skills he picked up as an excellent bartender. The best part is, he actually DOES it, and it doesn't seem far-fetched at all! ( )
  cebellol | May 3, 2016 |
Excellent gothic historical detective noir. Love this genre, and I think this will be the next big book in it. Faye did a wonderful job of research, setting and character, and her " flash" language is incredible, but made easy for the reader. Also, the audible version was just outstanding, so I have a new fab author and narrator to add to my list. I even enjoyed the video on the author's website and information on her background that shows you why this book feels so period right.

Even the names evoke the characters, in a Dicksonesque way. You know what you are going to get when in New York during the Irish potato famine, you have a small disfigured detective named Timothy Wilde whose brother is named Valentine Wilde, Mercy Underhill is the girl of Timothy's dreams, and Bird Daly is the little girl who has run from the scene of the crime. (And that's just the short list of perfect names). With all of that detail taken care of, the reader can just sit back and enjoy.

Here is an example of what makes Wilde so likeable, even before he starts figuring out how to solve a murder:

"Escorting Mercy down a block, depending on her mood, you might not be there for all the attention she pays you. And I'm not exactly Sunday, so to speak. I've never been a special occasion. I'm all the other days in a work week, and there are plenty of us streaming by without notice. But I could fix that, or I thought I could."

Faye also did a great job of giving the sense of the racial and prejudicial turmoil of the times without being trite or judgmental, and in outlining the true grit of the first police force in New York. If any of this appeals to you, go get your copy today! ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Wonderful story of 1845 New York! The police force has just been formed. Timothy Wilde, reluctant member of the "Copper Stars", is walking his beat when he collides with a small girl covered in blood. There is animosity in the city over the Irish immigrants pouring in every day and bringing their Catholic faith with them. The book takes the reader on a whirlwind trip through 19th century NY replete with politics, brothels, poverty, and crime. Using some real events and real people from the past, Lynday Faye weaves a story that's very realistic and thoroughly enjoyable! ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
The Gods of Gotham is an outstanding example of well-crafted mystery as well as a fascinating historical novel. It really is the best combination of my two favorite genres. The story takes place in New York City in 1845 and introduces the reader to Timothy Wilde, our damaged hero who reluctantly joins the newly formed police force after losing his employment, his savings and half his face in a fire. When Timothy’s brother, Valentine, gets him a position on the new police force, Timothy at first resists. But then, one night while doing rounds, Timothy encounters a ten year old Irish girl named Bird who is covered in blood. Impulsively, he takes Bird home with him instead of to the House of Refuge and, when questioned, Bird reveals a shocking tale of a man in a black hood who is kidnapping and butchering child prostitutes, or kinchin-mabs as they’re known in the street slang called flash. The case is complicated by political unrest, religious differences, and the influx of Irish immigrants into New York, not to mention the ambiguous feelings between Timothy and Valentine, a man whose drug addiction, political aspirations, and view of life stir up more questions than answers.

The Gods of Gotham has a twisty and surprising plot. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the novel moved off in an entirely different direction. I loved all of the historical elements. The author did a wonderful job of bringing 1845 New York City to life. I can't begin to imagine the amount of research she conducted prior to writing this story. She delved into many key issues of the time including poverty and the racial and religious tensions. I also can't believe how realistic the setting was for me. It should be mentioned that the novel incorporates “flash,” a type of slang used in working class neighborhoods of New York City but I felt like the context made it understandable. If not, the author provided a helpful dictionary.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great historical mystery. There are two other books in the series right now, Seven for a Secret and The Fatal Flame. I'm definitely planning to read them both in the near future.

( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
A great first book! This book is an accurate (I think) depiction of life in New York in the 1800's. It's not glamorized so if you are expecting Guilded Age glamor skip this. But, if you like a well written mystery you must read this! ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
New York City of 1845 is a cacophany of competing lexicons. In The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye, the city’s political bosses, religious leaders, starving Irish immigrants, impoverished nativists, civil leaders, race-baiters, headline writers, popular novelists, street hawkers, sinners, lovers, and criminals each employ language as distinctive as a police report’s. But also whispering among the leaning hovels of babble in Five Points are secret loyalties, monstrous acts, and madness.
Amid many intersecting factions, venues, and intents, the novel retains a glorious and tragic coherence. Without being epigraphic, The Gods of Gotham is a feast of language, 1845’s New York City as a magnificent assembly of newspaper articles, poems, sensational novels, crime reports, advertisements, amateur theatrics, hawkers’ calls, political promises, and flash conversations, making those tender and awful things that can’t be said even more keenly felt.
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For my family, who taught me that when you are knocked considerably sideways, you get up and keep going, or you get up and go in a slightly different direction.
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When I set down the initial report, sitting at my desk at the Tombs, I wrote: On the night of August 21, 1845, one of the children escaped.
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Book description
In 1845 New York City Timothy Wilde, a twenty-seven-year-old Irish immigrant, joins the newly formed NYPD and investigates an infanticide and the body of a twelve-year-old Irish boy whose spleen has been removed.
Haiku summary
Timothy Wilde is
one of New York's first police

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399158375, Hardcover)

1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.

Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, saving every dollar and shilling in hopes of winning the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this untested "police force." And he is less than thrilled that his new beat is the notoriously down-and-out Sixth Ward-at the border of Five Points, the world's most notorious slum.

One night while returning from his rounds, heartsick and defeated, Timothy runs into a little slip of a girl—a girl not more than ten years old—dashing through the dark in her nightshift . . . covered head to toe in blood.

Timothy knows he should take the girl to the House of Refuge, yet he can't bring himself to abandon her. Instead, he takes her home, where she spins wild stories, claiming that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of 23rd Street. Timothy isn't sure whether to believe her or not, but, as the truth unfolds, the reluctant copper star finds himself engaged in a battle for justice that nearly costs him his brother, his romantic obsession, and his own life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

New York City, 1845. Timothy Wilde, a 27-year-old Irish immigrant, joins the newly formed NYPD and investigates an infanticide and the body of a 12-year-old Irish boy whose spleen has been removed.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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