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 alternatives, he joins the newly minted NYPD. He's assigned as a patrolman in the Sixth Ward and is given a copper star as a badge.
There are horrors all around him as he sees people living in squalor and more people dieing of starvation daily.
He finds a young girl - not more than ten-years-old- covered with blood and learns that there are Irish children working at a brothel. There is also a man with a black hood who comes there and cuts up children.
After questioning the girl further, she admits that she followed the man one day and knows where he buried the children. Tim informs his superiors and is later assigned to finding the person responsible.
This is a literary novel that details some of the gruesome parts of live in the poverty stricken part of the city. It seems to paint an accurate picture of what might have gone on there.
There is also excellent character development with Tim, his brother, Val and Mercy Underhill. Together, they seem to represent what New York was before and what it was becoming as it grew into one of the leading cities in the U.S.
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 … more
“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 ...