Select one of the keywords
In the Shadow of Gotham    by Stefanie Pintoff order for
In the Shadow of Gotham
by Stefanie Pintoff
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2009 (2009)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stefanie Pintoff's In the Shadow of Gotham, winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Competition, is an unusual police procedural set during 1905 in New York City and in outlying rural Dobson, New York.

Once a New York Seventh Precinct cop, Detective Simon Ziele transferred to a two-man force in Dobson to escape memories of his fiancée Hannah, who died in front of his eyes in the General Slocum ferry fire that killed a thousand people in the East River. As the story opens, the Dobson community is shocked by the brutal murder of lovely young mathematics student Sarah Wingate in her bedroom in the stately home of her wealthy aunt Virginia. Oddly, the housemaid (Stella) has disappeared - did she see something? And who is the older man (not Sarah's father) pictured in the victim's locket?

Simon applies modern policing techniques to the case, photographing the scene with his Kodak and taking fingerprints (though fingerprinting evidence is still not accepted by the courts). Early on, he is approached by Columbia University criminologist Alistair Sinclair, who believes that a privileged young man, Michael Fromley - who had been the object of a study of criminal behavior by his team - is the murderer. Sinclair had hoped to rehabilitate Fromley and now fears that he failed, as the profile fits. Simon heads back to New York and works alongside Alistair and his associates, trying to find Michael Fromley.

Despite his grief for Hannah, Simon is attracted to Alistair's widowed daughter-in-law Isabella, who is also a member of his team. They work together, attempting to trace Fromley's whereabouts - and to uncover Sarah's many secrets. There are more deaths and the investigation twists and turns through a perilous maze - the investigators feeling the killer 'always to be one maddening step ahead of us' - before they reach the truth of the matter.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews