I can never quite fathom what she wanted of me. Not even in the dream. Only what she turned me into. - Timothy Wilde in The Gods of Gotham.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. The Gods of Gotham is set in the middle of the nineteenth century and explores New York City at an inflection point in its history. In 1800, NYC clocked in at about 60,000 residents. By 1850, that number had reached half a million. Lindsay Faye's characters are set in the middle of this city bursting at its seams, struggling to cope with the influx of Irish immigrants arriving as a result of the disastrous potato famine hitting Ireland. Protestant vs. Catholic. Nativists vs. immigrants. The political machine of Tammany hall. The formation of the NYPD. This is the true setting for a mystery with a bartender turned "copper star," sparring with a brutal killer at its center. If you enjoy period pieces, this is one to throw on your to-do list.