Title: City of Liars and Thieves
Author: Eve Karlin
Publisher: Alibi (Random House)
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours
A crime that rocked a city. A case that stunned a nation. Based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial, Eve Karlin’s spellbinding debut novel re-creates early nineteenth-century New York City, where a love affair ends in a brutal murder and a conspiracy involving Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr erupts in shattering violence.
It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.
On the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.
Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.
Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.
By the time I began reading City of Liars and Thieves, I had completely forgotten what the book was about (and why I wanted to review it). That being said, I would like to give Past Kayla a major fist bump for choosing such a great book to review. City of Liars and Thieves is precisely my sort of mystery: full of history and great writing.
American history has never been my favorite, so I didn't have a lot of knowledge about the Gulielma Sands murder case. I mean, I knew what happened to her, but I did not know about the politics surrounding the involved people. City of Liars and Thieves kept me on the edge of my seat and hoping that Elma would be okay, right along with Caty. That's rather exceptional, if you ask me, when you know what's going to happen and pretty much how it ends for everyone.
I'll freely admit that there is a lot about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr that I didn't know. City of Liars and Thieves brought depth to these historical figures that only stood out in my mind because of their infamous duel. I enjoyed learning more about them and their role in the early formation of New York City. (They were minor characters, but they played a pretty big part to the story.)
As for the main characters, I liked Caty the best. I mean, that wasn't hard because Elma doesn't stick around for long, and all of the men arouse suspicions, including Elias Ring, Caty's husband. Life was hard enough in the early nineteenth century, so I imagine that dealing with the entire scandal was awful for her.
If you're into history at all or love a great mystery, don't pass up City of Liars and Thieves. You may know how it all ends, but what you find in the middle is definitely not to be missed!
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About the Author
Eve Karlin was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of Colgate University, where she studied literature and creative writing with Frederick Busch. Karlin worked in publishing for more than a decade in marketing, at Random House, Newsweek, and, later, as a foreign book scout with clients in the United Kingdom, Italy, Holland, Brazil, and Japan. She has had several short stories published in The East Hampton Star and has been a contributing writer for Patch.com. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband and their sixteen-year-old triplets. City of Liars and Thieves is her first book.
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Follow the Tour
City of Liars and Thieves Tour Schedule
Tuesday, January 6th
Wednesday, January 7th
Friday, January 9th
Monday, January 12th
History from a Woman’s Perspective
Monday, January 12th
Omnimystery News– author guest post
Tuesday, January 13th
Dwell in Possibility
Tuessday, January 13th
Wednesday, January 14th
No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, January 15th
Friday, January 16th
Monday, January 19th
From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, January 20th
Sarah’s Book Shelves
Wednesday, January 21st
A Fantastical Librarian
Thursday, January 22nd
Chew & Digest Books
Monday, January 26th
Tuesday, January 27th
Tales of a Book Addict
Wednesday, January 28th
Thursday, January 29th
100 Pages a Day… Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, January 30th
Books in the Burbs
Ends at 12:01am EST on January 31st
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.