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on 15 July 2014
not bad at all for a first novel but a bit heavy
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I can see what the writer is trying to do, create a compelling story of murder and degradation in 19th century New York. Not the New York of wide boulevards and tree-lined suburbs but the NYC that recent immigrants see. The foul streets, uncollected garbage and knife gangs.

The story is quite simple, crime has been increasing and the city authorities are trying to clan up the crime rate. They create a police force, after a fire destroys huge swathes of tenement blocks.

Timothy Wilde ends up a police officer trying to solve why a small girl is found drenched in blood, clad only in a nightgown. Where is she from and why is she drenched in blood. This does seem to be an exciting plot but it falls slightly flat.

I found the plot to be easy to follow however the language the author chose to use is overly complex. She chose to use the jargon of the era, perhaps to create an authentic touch, but I found it difficult to follow. The inside front and back cover did include a lexicon to savvy the reader up. Nice touch but ultimately the jargon interfered with my reading enjoyment.

That being said there were some nice touches, I liked the relationship between the newly minted detective and his drug-addles politician brother. The love interest was a reassuring real woman and the final conclusion, unmasking the killer was satisfying.

However the book was slow in parts and I did not find the book a page turner. The era that the book is set in is an interesting one and has the potential to create an interesting and compelling scene for crime novels. But leave off the jargon, it is too darn distracting.
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on 18 December 2012
Well written and with twists. Good historical accuracy (as far as I can tell)! Set in 19th century New York and the start of the Copper Stars, the police force. Made me understand some of those US TV cops better!

Highly recommmended.
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on 28 April 2013
This started great and had a sense of place but got quite tiresome as it went on and finished rather abruptly leaving a sense of anticlimax
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book deserves so much more as a review, and I apologise in advance, but it just was not my kind of thing. That said, I did read it through, and I tried to be objective.

I was pleased that the author had clearly done some research into the period that this book was set. Yes, there are books that discuss the founding of the police in various countries. But this book goes beyond just a history, and tries to weave the history with quite a decent story.

It might be just that it was the end of a very busy year, but a thriller type novel was not one I could really enjoy. However, I would say that, if only because the author bothered to check her facts, give this one a go. I think if you like thrillers, you will enjoy this.
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VINE VOICEon 20 February 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
New York in 1845 was suffering from the continuous influx of imigrants from Europe. Many who arrived at the port just stayed in the city. With the exception of those who had money or a professions to support themselves, they found it difficult to find work. The elected civil government and the unionised docks looked after their own people.
Our poor but honest prospective hero Timothy Wilde has been left destitute when his wooden home, together with the money he had been saveing so as to ask his childhood sweatheart to marry him, went up in flames.
There was a volunteer fire service, provided out of necessity with so many wooden houses hading been constructed to provide for the growing population, but their main task was to stop the fire spreading any further.
Tim turned to drink. His elder brother Valentine came to his rescue, even though they were not on particularly good terms. As likely as not, as a member of the city council he could not be seen to let his brother die of exposure. He had found a job for him.
Crime was increasing with a greater population and so much poverty. Sectarian violence was frequently occuring. The original inhabitants of the state were mostly protestants and did not welcome the arrival of Catholics and Jews in their land. Fighting broke out between the sects only too often. With the famine in Ireland even more Irish had arrived. They seemed just to enjoy a good fight.
The City decided reluctantly that they needed a police force.
Val bought Tim a new suit and almost had to practally drag him to be interviewed for the job of patrolman. He was accepted and on the next morning set off to patrol his beat wearing his a new uniform and his badge of authority a copper shield.
Then the real story begins.
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