Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Julie's Review: The Wicked City

Author: Beatriz Williams
Series: Yes
Publication Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 364
Obtained: TLC Book Tours
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: A wonderful adventure during the 1920s that ties to modern times
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: 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. ~amazon.com

Review: The Wicked City is another wonderful adventure that spans two different eras in New York City. We meet Gin who is a flapper by night, typing girl by day until she gets caught in the middle of a prohibition case that involves her step-daddy, Duke Kelly. Gin doesn't like being played by either Agent Anson or her step-dad. Her step-dad is the lowest scum of them all but his illegal business is doing a lot of good for the small town of River Junction but does that excuse how he goes about doing his business? How can she justify drinking it, when she knows that it's illegal?

Gin is a fabulous story. She loves working at a wall street firm in the typing pool and visiting Christopher's at night with her boy-toy, Billy. She's head-strong, smart and independent. So when she's called back to River Junction because her mother is dying, she decides that she will help Agent Anson. Of course it doesn't take long for things to come to a head with her helping out Agent Anson. Although there is a great twist that occurs, that I can say was out of left field but made perfect sense as well.

Meanwhile, fast-forward to the last 1990s, when Ella Hawthorne moves into the famed village building, something draws her to the history of the building. It doesn't hurt that the first person she meets is the handsome Hector who is most helpful in telling her about the speakeasy that used to occupy the building and to ignore the music that she'll hear coming from the basement.

Ms Williams seamlessly weaves the 2 stories together while also bringing some characters in from some of her past books, which you don't need their backstory, but it makes it more fun if you do. I loved how the dots got connected in the end. I loved how Gin figured out what was important to her and how Ella figured out how to be strong and stand on her own. She really knows how to write smart, sassy, independent women.

If you haven't read Ms. Williams' novels yet, then The Wicked City is a great place to start but I highly recommend going back and reading her backlist. You won't regret it and it won't take you long.

Find out more about Beatriz at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Tour schedule:
Tuesday, January 17th: Girls Just Reading
Wednesday, January 18th: bookchickdi
Thursday, January 19th: West Metro Mommy
Friday, January 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, January 23rd: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, January 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Thursday, January 26th: 5 Minutes For Books
Friday, January 27th: BookNAround
Monday, January 30th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Tuesday, January 31st: Thoughts On This 'n That
Wednesday, February 1st: Literary Lindsey
Thursday, February 2nd: The Book Date
Thursday, February 2nd: Reading Reality
Friday, February 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, February 6th: StephTheBookworm
Tuesday, February 7th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, February 8th: Reading to Distraction
Thursday, February 9th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, February 10th: Life By Kristen
Friday, February 10th: Library of Clean Reads



Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

"She really knows how to write smart, sassy, independent women." I haven't read any of her books, and it looks like I'm really missing out on some great characters!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

trish said...

I love reading historical novels that feature the early to mid-20th century! And if the book has strong female characters, then all the better.