Irresistibly drawn to mysteries, if only to debunk them, reporter Lionel Page exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. His latest case is an obsession—at least for an ancient and wealthy heiress: verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City’s literary underworld. But the shrewd Regina Dunkle offers more than money. It’s a pact. Fulfill her request, and Lionel’s own notorious buried past, one he’s been running from since he was a child, will remain hidden.
As Lionel’s quest begins, so do the warnings. And where rare books go, murder follows. It’s only when Lionel meets enigmatic stranger Madison Hannah, his personal usher into the city’s secret history, that he realizes he’s being guided by a force more powerful than logic…and that he isn’t just following a story. He is the story.
Now that the true purpose of his mission is revealing itself in the most terrifying ways, it may finally be time for Lionel to believe in the unbelievable.
Review of Ghosts of Gotham
First of all, I have to say I connected with the hero Lionel pretty quickly into the story. You see, it seems he has a fascination with New York that matches my own. That is, we read books and watch TV or movies that are situated in that city, but have never been there. Well, Lionel has been there now and learned that books and movies don’t tell the whole story.
There is plenty going on in the Big Apple and Lionel is quickly subjected to a very dark side of the city. A connection with a mysterious woman – Madison (Lionel thinks possible romcom) puts a highlight on his visit, at least for a while.
The reader, and soon Lionel, will quickly realize that Madison is just as involved as Lionel in the mission – finding and authenticating the Edgar Allan Poe manuscript. I’ve been a fan of the master detective writer for many years, but I was always drawn to his creepier stories. So this book is really right up my reading alley.
Lionel and Madison follow a series of linear clues for what seems a good chunk of the story. They don’t seem to connect back to other clues until much later, but they will connect. Once that started happening, I got to the can’t-put-down-this-ereader stage.
There is a secret New York society (cult), vegetarian dining, a mysterious boss, New York culture and the ultimate supernatural villain who is controlled by something he cannot understand. Oh yes, the goddess Hecate. I would say more about her, but I don’t want to spoil how she makes it into the story. I will mention that the secret identity of Hecate was somewhat obvious to me, but I tend to think in those twisted ways after reading so many twisty books.
I would classify Ghosts of Gotham as paranormal/horror/mystery/romance. Yes, all those. Such a good adventure in the streets of New York! This was my first Craig Schaefer book, but not my last.
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Audiobook fans: I just noticed that you can purchase Ghosts of Gotham for $4.99 and then get the audiobook for only $1.99. Bargain!