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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

SERIES: Timothy Wilde, Book #1
AUTHOR: Lyndsay Faye 
NARRATOR: Steven Boyer
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: March 15, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 12 hrs 9 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9781101546055
It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.

Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win 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 new "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 making his rounds, Wilde literally runs into a little slip of a girl - a girl not more than 10 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.


I received this audiobook for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.  

This story takes place in New York City during the time of the Irish Potato Famine, which sends many Irish people abroad in search of a better life. Timothy Wilde has had a hard life. When he was just a youngster, his parents were killed in a fire that ravaged their home and barn. Only he and his older brother, Valentine, survived. Valentine became a pseudo-father to his younger brother and took care of him, and Timothy grew up to be a bartender. It was an honest job for pretty good pay, and he saved every dime he earned so that he could offer something to the apple of his eye, Mercy Underhill. And then, the unthinkable happens: Another fire destroys the bar where he works, as well as his home. Not only have all of his savings been melted in the fire, but his face is also scarred by burns. His dreams have now been destroyed, and he has nothing.

Valentine arranges a job for Timothy as a “Copper Star” in the newly-founded police force. Timothy rents a room above a bakery owned by a widow, Mrs. Boehm. A young ten year-old girl, Bird Daley, literally runs into Timothy one evening and she is covered in blood. Rather than take her to the police, Timothy takes her back to Mrs. Boehm’s place. The girl has a penchant for lying, and she tells Timothy one falsehood after another. Because of Bird, he is thrown into the city’s largest homicide case: Kinchin mabs (aka child prostitutes) are being killed and mutilated, with large crosses cut into their chests.

Because of her volunteer work with the poor, Mercy Underhill is drawn into the investigation to identify a victim. Little does Timothy realize that Mercy is the key to solving these unspeakable crimes.

This was a really good historical mystery! Faye is a new-to-me author, and Timothy Wilde is just such a fantastic character! He has grown up in the school of hard knocks, and he keeps on keepin’ on. He is absolutely brilliant and was made for detective work. After the second fire forced him to find a new place to live, he searched out just the right one. Living above the bakery would ensure that he would be kept well-nourished with day-old bread, even if money was tight. In the winter, the heat from the ovens would warm his room without the need for a fire. He is a natural!

I love a mystery that can keep me guessing, and Faye did that for me. With a few shocking revelations, she held my interest right until the end of the story. Faye is a fascinating story-teller, weaving in just the right amount of historical detail. There was a little more political talk than I cared for, but still very enjoyable. I will definitely look into her backlist while I await the next installment in the Timothy Wilde series.

Steven Boyer is a new-to-me narrator, and I just loved his performance! His voice was clear and pleasant to the ears, with the right amount of emotion. I wish he would be more liberal with his accents, as his voice for German Mrs. Boehm is, by far, my favourite! Some narrators doing opposite-gender voices sound awkward, but not so with Boyer! He sounds very authentic.                              

1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked it! And glad to see you could count it for so many challenges. I love it when books overlap. :)


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