The Wicked City by Beatriz Beatriz Williams

Summary (HarperCollins)
About the Book

Bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings together two generations of women inside a Greenwich Village apartment—a flapper hiding an extraordinary past, and a modern-day Manhattanite forced to start her life anew.

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. . . 

Review

In New York City, The Wicked City, we follow the story of Geneva Rose “Ginger” in 1924 and Ella in 1998. Each woman running away from something and landing at 11 Christopher- the building each inhabitant some 70 years apart. Gin and Ella’s stories are connected in more way than one, and The Wicked City is definitely filled with unexpected twists! Each woman is independent, not necessarily by choice but circumstance. I loved how each other’s flaws were the other’s strengths. Ginger is a full-fledged flapper- witty, charming and a true broad. She’s sharper than a razors edge. Her story is told first person with a specific time period syntax and regional dialect. If you’re a fan of speakeasies, jazz, bootleggers and drama- this book is a must read! Being from Appalachia, I was thrilled to read some very well researched historical fiction. BTW you can still find some shine somewhere around here 😉. I was left with some soft questions and was pleasantly surprised to read that Beatriz Williams is planning a follow-up.

The Wicked City can be purchased at HarperCollins, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

3.5/5

Jessica

(This book was provided to me for review from Harpercollins and Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own, as always.)

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