In 1845 New York, Timothy Wilde, an officer in the newly organized police force, encounters a blood-soaked girl claiming to know where plenty of bodies are buried. It's soon evident that a serial killer is at work, eager to stoke anti-Irish sentiment. Faye has already proved herself a capable writer of historical fiction with Dust and Shadow, a beautifully done debut that revisited Sherlock Holmes.[Page 56]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Faye's new novel, after the Sherlockian thriller Dust and Shadow, focuses on the growing distrust toward Irish Catholic immigrants in 1840s New York. Badly scarred and rendered destitute after a city fire, barman Timothy Wilde takes a job on the newly formed police force at the urging of his politically connected older brother, Valentine. As a "Copper Star," Tim is well suited to investigation, and he stumbles on a mystery involving murdered children and one of New York's most infamous brothels. Mercy Underhill, a devoted social worker and the object of Tim's unspoken affection, is drawn into the case as she tries to protect her wards. Tim searches for answers amid political scheming, nativist sentiments, and anti-Catholic riots. VERDICT The Wilde brothers are a valiantly flawed pair (they commit illegal acts for good reasons) whose adventures dramatically light up this turbulent era. Faye's use of flash, an underground language akin to thieves' cant (British criminal jargon), further enriches this engrossing historical thriller, the first in a new series. [See Prepub Alert, 10/2/11.]--Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Set in 1845 New York City, Faye's knockout first in a new series improves on her impressive debut, Dust and Shadow (2009), which pitted Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper. As Irish immigrants pour into the city, fleeing the potato famine in their homeland, Timothy Wilde, a 27-year-old former bartender, adjusts to life as a policeman in New York's newly formed police force. As one of the first to wear the copper star, Wilde soon discovers more than one unwelcome surprise. In short order on his lower Manhattan beat, he runs across an infanticide and the body of a 12-year-old Irish boy whose spleen has been removed. The investigation the novice detective launches into the boy's murder brings him deep into the heart of human darkness. Vivid period details, fully formed characters, and a blockbuster of a twisty plot put Faye in a class with Caleb Carr. Readers will look forward to the sequel. Agent: Erin Malone, William Morris. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC