Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
The story takes place at the inception of the NYPD in 1845. Timothy Wilde, a former bartender needing to take on a new profession, is recruited by newly formed police force. One of his first cases is to investigate the murder of a young boy. The body was mutilated, the spleen removed. The cross like cut on the body points towards a religious crime, and with hatred of the Catholics, primarily Irish immigrants, heating up in the city, a resolution to the murder is of the utmost importance.
While the subject matter is quite disturbing – child prostitutes and murdered children – the author writes in a way that isn’t gory or disconcerting. These children and their lives invoke empathy in both her detective and her readers. Fans of the atmospheric historical mystery The Alienist by Caleb Carr will find a lot to like in Faye’s latest Gods of Gotham.