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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Gods of Gotham » User review

Nativism in Old New York City

  • Feb 7, 2012
Rating:
+5
This is a very well-written book that tells the story of the beginning of the New York City Police Department, whose members were called the "copper stars" after the badges they wore (could this be the origin of the term "copper" and subsequently "cop" for a policeman?). The protagonist is a young, newly -minted policeman whose brother is a very important and high-ranking member of the Democratic party, which controls the city, based in large part on the votes of the new Irish immigrants, fleeing the potato famine back home.

The bodies of severely mutilated young Irish children of both sexes are discovered, and they all have some type of connection to a bawdy house run by a madam with ties to the upper reaches of the Democratic party. Our hero must attempt to solve this case without publicly involving either the Irish or the Democratic party, not a simple task, as it turns out.

The investigation is complicated by the virulent Nativist movement in the city, which is anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant. Indeed, the chapters are begun with excepts of anti-Catholic screeds of the time. A grisly murder is discovered within old, downtown St. Patrick's Cathedral, and several letters claim to have been written by an Irishman who states he murdered the children in a strange plot to have the Catholic Church assume power. Additionally, there is a love story, of sorts.

The plot contains enough potential suspects to fill a good-sized room, and there is quite a bit of action, and a travelogue of the streets and neighborhoods of the New York City of 1845. All in all, an excellent book, and I can highly recommend it.

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February 07, 2012
Illuminating.
 
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More The Gods of Gotham reviews
review by . March 18, 2012
It's 1845 and we are taken to the poverty stricken Sixth Ward of New York City.  The potato famine in Ireland has brought thousands of emigrants to the city. Soon embers begin to simmer between the Democrats who want the Irish vote and the Whigs who are often people who don't get their hands dirty and would like to deport the Irish to Canada.      A major fire burns down a large part of Manhattan including the bar where Timothy Wilde worked as a bartender. With few …
About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #93
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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The Gods of Gotham is 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 read!” —Michael Connelly


“Lyndsay Faye is a superstar-caliber writer. She confidently and exquisitely re-creates the past while her characters live on with you in the present, the elusive gold standard for a historical novel. The Gods of Gotham is a gift to the genre that readers will surely relish while we wait for Faye’s next one.” —Matthew Pearl, bestselling author of The Dante Club


“Intriguingly complex yet deliciously smooth, The Gods of Gotham is, in a word, stunning. The vivid characters and deft use of the historical setting read like the work of an established writer at the top of her (or indeed, his) career—that Faye is a newcomer is cause for an exuberance of fireworks, at the mere thought of so many superb novels yet to come.” —Laurie R. King, New York Times–bestselling author of The God of the Hive and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice


The Gods of Gotham is a revelation. Lyndsay Faye puts the drive and passion of a modern thriller onto the mean streets of 1840s New York. She brings a fascinating page of history to life with a gripping, twisty plot, vivid characters, and seamless research. This is historical ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0399158375
ISBN-13: 978-0399158377
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

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