The Wicked City

The Wicked City

A Novel

Large Print - 2017 | Large print edition.
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In the first book of a breathtaking new trilogy by bestselling author Beatriz Williams, two generations of women are brought together inside a Greenwich Village apartment --a flapper hiding an extraordinary past, and a modern-day Manattanite forced to start her life anew.

When she discovers her banker husband has been harboring a secret life, Ella Gilbert escapes her SoHo loft for a studio in Greenwich Village. 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 the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the basement was home to 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. 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 the biggest bootleggers in Appalachia.

But Gin is nobody's fool. She strikes a risky bargain with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent, and their alliance rattles Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead.

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

Publisher: New York, NY : Little Brown and Company, [2017]
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780062643995
Branch Call Number: Large Print FIC Willi
Characteristics: 571 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


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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!

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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