2013 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel
Paperback release March 5th!
“It’s been almost twenty years since Caleb Carr’s
bestselling Olde New York crime novel, The Alienist,
was published, and I can’t count the number of times since
then that someone has asked me if I can recommend a suspense
story anything ‘like it.’ Well, New York has inspired lots of
terrific thrillers, but I’ve just stumbled on one of the
worthiest successors yet. Lyndsay Faye’s novel, The Gods
—MAUREEN CORRIGAN, NPR’s Fresh Air
"A wonderful book. Lyndsay Faye's command of historical
detail is remarkable and her knowledge of human character even
more so. I bought into this world in the opening pages
and never once had the desire to leave. It's a great
In the summer of 1845, following years of passionate political
dispute, New York City at long last formed a Police Department.
The potato, a crop that can be trusted to yield reliable nutrition
from barren, limited space, had long been the base staple of the
Irish tenant farmer. By the summer of 1845, newspapers
worldwide had begun to report anxiously that an infestation called
“blight” was laying waste to potato crops throughout Ireland.
These twin events would change
the city of New York 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.
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