The Gods of Gotham
By Lyndsay Faye
It's 1845 and New York city
crackles with life and the occasional fire. Bartender Timothy Wilde is
saving up money so he can ask the woman of his dreams to marry him when
an explosion in his neighborhood leaves him penniless and scarred. In
need of new employment, Timothy finds himself a member of the copper
stars, New York's first police force. Met with derision and
hostility, the copper stars must try to maintain order in a city where
racial and religious tensions are on the rise.
The potato famine in
Ireland is causing an influx of immigrants who many New Yorkers consider
to be less than human. These immigrants are largely Catholic, to which
the Protestant majority also objects. The streets are filled with
violent mobs, shouting newsboys, prostitutes, and every manner of
outrageous debauchery. When the body of a child is discovered, the
melting pot of the city threatens to boil over. Since there have never
been police in New York City before, Timothy must invent his job as he
goes along. Interviewing those connected to the case, gathering
evidence, and piecing it all together, he finds that this may be the
job he was born to do.
This is a historical novel filled with drama and is an excellent source for entertaining examples of old-fashioned slang.
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Review by Danny Hanbery