In the Shadow of Gotham Review
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Itís the year 1905 in Dobson, New York. On a mild winter evening, someone brutally murders Sarah Wingate in her bedroom while sheís visiting relatives. A brilliant mathematician, she had a promising future ahead of her. So why would anyone want to kill her?

After the death of his fiancťe on the General Slocum ferry disaster in the summer of 1904, Detective Simon Ziele transfers to a police department north of New York, away from the city, to heal. He didnít expect to encounter a vicious homicide involving a young woman. Twenty-four hours into the investigation, Columbia Universityís noted criminologist, Alistair Sinclair, contacts Ziele and tells him that Sarahís death closely resembles the fantasies of one of his research subjects, Michael Fromley, who has been missing for the last two weeks.

  
 
On the same day that Sarah is murdered, Stella, the housemaid, turns up missing. Did she witness something that terrified her, or could it be for some other reason that she fled the scene? The more Detective Ziele uncovers, the more puzzling the crime becomes, taking him into the shady world of gambling and gentlemenís clubs.

In the Shadow of Gotham is a magnificent debut mystery. Clues are plenty and puzzling, challenging the reader to detect right along with Detective Ziele. Heís a well-rounded character with a tragic past, which makes him instantly likable and memorableóand I hope to catch him in future mystery novels by Stefanie Pintoff. More than just Ziele, though, all of the characters are unique and special in their own way, making them stand out from one another.

At the same time, Ms Pintoff manages to make the perpetrator look suspicious without giving his or her identity away until the end. That can be tricky thing to achieve, but Ms Pintoff pulled it off smoothly. And, in the end, I was both surprised and not surprised; I should have seen it coming, but I didnít.

Though In the Shadow of Gotham is more about the procedure of catching a criminal than it is about the action, I still found the plot to be suspenseful, engaging, and interesting. Some authors can lay a story before you with smooth-flowing prose, making it easy to become engrossed in the plot, even when nothing heart-pounding is happening. Ms. Pintoff is one of those authors.

Donít miss this deep, mesmerizing mystery by first-time author Stefanie Pintoff. You owe it to yourself to get lost in a great read like In the Shadow of Gotham.

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