The Wicked City

The Wicked City

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
Average Rating:
3
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Bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings together two generations of women inside a Greenwich Village apartment--a flapper hiding an extraordinary past, and a modern-day Manhattanite forced to start her life anew.

When she discovers her banker husband has been harboring a secret life, Ella Gilbert escapes their sleek SoHo loft for a studio in a quaint building in Greenwich Village. But her new refuge isn't quite what it seems. Her charismatic musician neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement after midnight, when a symphony of mysterious noise strikes up--laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano, the occasional bloodcurdling scream--even though it's stood empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the building hosted one of the city's most notorious speakeasies.

In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a quick-witted flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin lands in the office of Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather, Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia's most notorious bootleggers.

Sired by a wealthy New York scion who abandoned her showgirl mother, Gin is nobody's fool. She strikes a risky bargain with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent, even though her on-again, off-again Princeton beau, Billy Marshall, wants to make an honest woman of her and heal the legacy of her hardscrabble childhood. Gin's alliance with Anson rattles Manhattan society, exposing sins that shock even this free-spirited redhead--sins that echo from the canyons of Wall Street to the mountain hollers of her hometown.

As Ella unravels the strange history of the building--and the family thread that connects her to Geneva Kelly--she senses the Jazz Age spirit of her incandescent predecessor invading her own shy nature, in ways that will transform her life in the wicked city. . .

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062405029
Branch Call Number: FIC Willi
Characteristics: 366 pages ; 24 cm

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c
conpenn
Feb 27, 2017

Just finished this and I find myself still thinking about the characters and the ending. I did find out on the author's FB page that a sequel is in progress!

m
marthabwaters
Jan 12, 2017

This book is a series-opener, and I think that should be more clearly marked so that readers are aware of that -- otherwise, the ending is going to feel hopelessly abrupt and dissatisfying. Overall, I enjoyed most of this, but the 1990s storyline was vastly less interesting to me than the 1920s one (as is often the case with Williams' books -- the frame story just never quite grabs me as much), and what it bumped it down from the solid 4 stars I would have given it otherwise is the fact that the villainous stepfather, in the last 100 pages, transformed into so cartoonish a villain that I had a hard time taking the proceedings seriously. Up until that point I was hooked; I'm hoping that book two doesn't have a turnoff like that, because I loved the characters in this and look forward to reading more about them.

Chapel_Hill_AmandaG Dec 11, 2016

I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved the 1920's New York setting. I also really liked the main character, Gin. She was strong, feisty, and possessed a very intriguing past. What didn't work for me was the 1998 alternate story line. It wasn't fully fleshed out enough for me to connect with the characters and enjoy the romance. A bigger issue was the ending. No spoilers, but there were so many unanswered questions and I felt so unsatisfied. Hopefully, Beatriz Williams is planning on answering a few of those in her next book. Fingers crossed!

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