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The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
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The Gods of Gotham (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Lyndsay Faye

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7098313,323 (3.98)160
Member:sidney_ruffdiamond
Title:The Gods of Gotham
Authors:Lyndsay Faye
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (Author) (2012)

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English (86)  French (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
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 |
Timothy Wilde becomes one of the first members of the NYPD after a fire destroys his home and all of his savings from his bartending job. His brother, Valentine, is already a copper, so named for the copper stars they wear. As he is patrolling his designated area he has a collision with a young girl, dressed only in a nightgown and covered with blood. This chance encounter leads him to the investigation which turns into apparently a mass murderer of children.

Set in the middle of the 19th century in New York City, the reader gets a feeling for the anger and fear growing from the influx of Catholic Irish escaping the potato famine in their own country. As the discovered children are found with a cross shaped cut in their torso, the suspicion falls on the Catholics and the summer heat erupts into riots in the streets.

Timothy is a low key hero, scarred from fire, worshipping a woman from afar, unfamiliar even though gentle with damaged children, he is a knight charging into a new field. This promises to be an exciting and interesting series and I'm glad to be in it on the ground floor. ( )
  mamzel | Sep 26, 2015 |
The Gods of Gotham is a mystery set in New York City in 1845. The potato famine in Ireland has led to an influx of Irish immigrants, and nativism is prevalent. New York City has just formed its first police force. The bodies of children have been discovered and it is up to the newly formed police force to investigate.

This book has a lot of things going for it. The writing is excellent. The author does a splendid job setting the story in the time period. It feels authentic and bursting with life and it made me eager to learn more about the political and social life of mid-1800s New York City. Sometimes it is a bit challenging to read, as there is a lot of 1840s slang in the book, and the glossary in front isn't always helpful. The narrator of the story, a bartender turned police officer, is just plain likable. A decent human being with a good heart, he's the kind of guy you'd love to have either serving you a drink or protecting you from the bad guys. The story itself is captivating, not exactly in a "can't put it down" kind of way, but it kept me reading.
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  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
It is 1845 and the potato famine has struck Ireland. Immigrants are coming to America in droves and most of them arrive in New York City. Overpopulation has caused slums to form, gangs to rule, disease to rage unchecked and of course, corruption and crime to run rampant. The year 1845 also sees the formation of the first NYPD. Giving the copper star to political friends, known “enforcers” and some questionable characters is the norm and intimidation rather than police legwork appears to be the way to halt the criminals. Timothy Wilde is the most reluctant of the “coppers” being given the job by his brother’s (questionable) good graces after a fire destroys everything he owns as well as half his face. He is walking home during his first week on the job when a waif of a girl runs headlong into his legs. Street urchins, homeless orphans and child prostitutes are the norm for the Sixth Ward he patrols and Timothy knows he should take her to “The Home”. Something about her tugs at him and instead he takes her to his home. Not knowing this would be the beginning of his first real investigation Timothy trips through the muck and the mud, the haves, the have-nots and the have-nothings of New York and finds he is a good “copper” after all.

Turn the first page of this book and you step back into the New York of 1845. Ms. Faye researches her book so thoroughly and writes so convincingly you can almost smell the smells and feel the grit as the story moves along. She transports the reader back to a time when Manhattan was divided by colour and nationality, primarily made up of slums, with a few well-to-doers living high and farmland greenery only a carriage ride away. Drawing on her meticulous research into the history of her newly adopted city of residence, Ms Faye produces a book of accurate historical fiction that reads like a thriller.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (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.
First words
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
Investigators.
(passion4reading)

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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