Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books.
Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of
my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to
your wish list.
About eighteen months ago, I raved about Lyndsay Faye's Gods of Gotham, noting that she "brilliantly captures the heart and soul of the seedier and more dangerous side of New York in the 1840s." This month, Faye's second Timothy Wilde book, Seven for a Secret, was released, and I can't wait to finish this fabulous novel.
Here's the publisher's summary:
Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices—until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property.Although I haven't yet finished Seven for Secret, I'm completely caught up in Timothy's conflicted emotions in this novel. Despite being loyal to the fledgling police department and respectful of the law, he has his own ideas of what is morally and ethically right. This can be a problem for a copper of any era, but for Timothy, the dilemma is particularly difficult and personal.
The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal—it’s law enforcement.
When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principles, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.
I can also assure you that Faye has avoided the all-too-common sophomore slump. Seven for a Secret once again brings New York—its people, sounds, and smells—to life, allowing me to easily visualize the characters and setting. I am particularly fascinated with the political and social climate of the pre–Civil War city; for example, some people found it easier to talk the talk of abolition than to expend energy helping their black brethren.
Fans of the Wilde brothers will be happy to know that the relationship between Timothy and Val is still central to the plot. In addition, Faye reveals details about their background and gives some of the recurring secondary characters more page time.
I don't know how the novel ends or how all the plot lines come together, but I love being in Timothy's world. Faye's writing is so evocative of the times, with its spot-on dialogue and vivid period details. Here's Timothy describing the behavior of some of the political big-wigs they were charged with protecting:
My chief's voice was thunder-dark and thick with worry. I didn't blame him. Vices in and of themselves are almost badges of honor amongst the scoundrels of the political machines—you whored down the Bowery like a kitchen maid doing the marketing, you gambled away hundreds in rooms with locked doors and then earned it back in bribes the next morning, you drank enough champagne for your brains to feel they were melting come daybreak and then drove off the tremors with a hot mug of rum. (p. 239; uncorrected proof)Makes you wonder if anything has changed over the last 170 years, doesn't it?
Lyndsay Faye's Seven for a Secret will appeal to a wide range of readers, from mystery lovers to fans of historical fiction and literary fiction. I have no doubt Seven for a Secret will end up being one of my top reads of 2013.
To learn more about Lyndsay Faye,visit her website, where you can see her tour schedule and discover her full range of writing. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Beer and cooking enthusiasts won't want to miss her Beer Meets Food blog.
Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.
Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, 2013
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