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In the shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
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In the shadow of Gotham (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Stefanie Pintoff

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5443127,424 (3.47)47
Member:Karrie_Leigh
Title:In the shadow of Gotham
Authors:Stefanie Pintoff
Info:New York : Minotaur Books, 2009.
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (2009)

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Surprisingly good for a first crime novel. The setting of New York after the turn of the last century satisfied my love for historical fiction. Reading about the places I knew while they were in their heyday, ChinaTown, and the Bowery was so much better than the remains of these areas that I knew from my youth. While I could predict who the killer was easily, it was a good way to spend a day off. ( )
  Michelle_Wendt | Jun 15, 2016 |
At times I enjoyed the mystery, but what I thought was supposed to be the twist wasn't a surprise. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 14, 2016 |
so full of anachronisms. It's supposed to be 1905, not 2005. It's also really obviously a first novel, but it's not a bad premise. Just wish the execution had been better.

disability tag - one bad guy uses a cane, but we don't discover this until the scene where we learn he's evil. Another bad guy is apparently grotesque in appearance and has addiction withdrawal symptoms.

gender-politics - all the young pretty women get fridged. All the positively described older/successful women are prostitutes or spinsters. All the hard-working and/or respectable women are coldly unfriendly or overtly neurotic.

I'm annoyed because I really wanted to like this -- it's such a rich setting -- but there's so little characterization that it was hard to get involved with any of the characters. I wanted to worry for them, but they were mostly that unengaging. There are apparently more books in the same 'verse, and I'm curious whether they get better. ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
After the tragic death of his fiancée, Detective Simon Ziele needs to get out of New York City. He joins the police force of a small town north of the metropolis, hoping that the work will be a respite from the suffering he's left behind. But when a well-to-do young woman is brutally murdered -- in her own house, in broad daylight -- Ziele discovers that he can't fully escape the violence and tragedy of his past. He receives the help of a criminal psychologist at Columbia University who believes that one of his own research subjects may be responsible for crime. Ziele is skeptical about the psychologist's methods but accepts his help in hunting for the main suspect. But as they search for the man, Ziele is forced to return to New York City and confront some of the memories of his past.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for years, so I'm very glad I finally took the time to read it! I haven't read many books set in turn-of-the-century America, but it's certainly a fascinating setting for a murder mystery. This book takes full advantage of the setting, frequently mentioning the Tammany Hall political machine and exploring the gap between rich and poor. The mystery itself was fine but not particularly surprising; I didn't guess "whodunit," but I came up with a solution that, frankly, I would have enjoyed more than the actual answer! Nonetheless, I liked Simon Ziele and plan to continue with the series. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of historical mysteries.
  christina_reads | Aug 11, 2013 |
I like the setting, NY City and I like the early criminalist characterization. Something seems to drag the story down. Worth the read especially after reading her new book. The continuity from this book to the new one is important. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.

--attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dedication
For Craig and Maddie
First words
The scream that pierced the dull yellow November sky was preternaturally high-pitched.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a deranged killer is on the prowl. New York, 1905. After losing his fiancee in the General Slocum ferry disaster, Detective Simon Ziele transferred to a country town north of Manhattan in the hope of escaping his grief. But only months later he's faced with the shocking murder of a young girl - battered to death in her bedroom on a cold winter's afternoon. And when Alistair Sinclair, one of Columbia University's most noted criminologists learns about the case, he realises it bears an uncanny resemblance to the deranged mutterings of one his research subjects. Ziele must work with Sinclair to determine whether his patient - with a terrifying history of violent behaviour and brutal fantasies - did indeed seek out this innocent young victim ...before the vicious murderer strikes again. "In the Shadow of Gotham" tells the atmospheric and gripping tale of a haunted man who must search for a killer, while on the run from his own demons...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312544901, Hardcover)

Dobson, New York, 1905.

Detective Simon Ziele lost his fiancée in the General Slocum ferry disaster—a thousand perished on that summer day in 1904 when an onboard fire burned the boat down in the waters of the East River. Still reeling from the tragedy, Ziele transferred to a police department north of New York, to escape the city and all the memories it conjured.

But only a few months into his new life in a quiet country town, he’s faced with the most shocking homicide of his career to date: Young Sarah Wingate has been brutally murdered in her own bedroom in the middle of an otherwise calm and quiet winter afternoon. After just one day of investigation, Simon’s contacted by Columbia University’s noted criminologist Alistair Sinclair, who offers a startling claim about one of his patients, Michael Fromley—that the facts of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to Fromley’s deranged mutterings.

But what would have led Fromley, with his history of violent behavior and brutal fantasies, to seek out Sarah, a notable mathematics student and a proper young lady who has little in common with his previous targets? Is Fromley really a murderer, or is someone mimicking him?

This is what Simon Ziele must find out, with the help of the brilliant but self-interested Alistair Sinclair—before the killer strikes again.

With this taut, atmospheric, and original story of a haunted man who must search for a killer while on the run from his own demons, Stefanie Pintoff’s In the Shadow of Gotham marks the debut of an outstanding new talent, the inaugural winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Competition.

In the Shadow of Gotham is the winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Detective Simon Ziele lost his fianceé in the wreck of the General Slocum and shortly thereafter headed to Westchester County to escape the violence of the city. But just a few months into his tenure, he catches the worst homicide of his career: a young woman is brutally murdered in her own bedroom in the middle of a winter afternoon. A day's investigating leads him to Columbia University's noted criminologist, Alistair Sinclair, and one of his subjects, Michael Fromley, who has a history of violent behavior and brutal fantasies. But what would lead him to target Sarah Wingate, a notable mathematics grad student at Columbia? Is it really Michael behind the murder, or is someone else copying his signatures? This is what Simon Ziele must discover, with the help of the brilliant but self-interested Alistair Sinclair, before the killer strikes again.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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