In the Shadow of Gotham


By Stephanie Pintoff

The Short Take:

Fans of Caleb Carr should enjoy this mystery, which has quite a bit in common, as far as setting and mystery-solving techniques, with Carr’s The Alienist. That’s a pretty good recommendation right there to me.

Why?

If you like those detective shows where they create criminal profiles, you should enjoy this mystery. However, since this book is set about 100 years ago in New York City, the science of getting into a criminal’s brain isn’t as advanced. Plus, the police are not very receptive to going there in the first place.

The plot clips along at a good pace, with some welcome twists to keep you going. In addition to the main mystery surrounding the brutal murder of a young woman, there are some veiled hints at other mysteries in the past lives of the main characters. Since Pintoff already has a second book out with at least some of the main characters, I anticipate back stories will be revealed over time.

And, I will be reading her next book.

A Little Plot:

A woman is stabbed and beaten to death while visiting friends in rural New York. It seems a totally random murder until Detective Simon Zeile receives a enigmatic note from criminologist Alistair Sinclair, who claims to know who the murderer is.

Zeile rushes to see Sinclair in New York City, but has his doubts about Sinclair’s profiling methods and his conclusions, however  — like any good cop — he pursues all leads. Those leads take him to a number of the seamier dives and dens of iniquity  in turn-of-the-century NYC. Danger lurks for both members of the crime solving team as well as potential witnesses. And, in the midst of everything, Zeile uncovers a very disturbing truth about Sinclair himself.

For more about Stefanie Pintoff and books, click here.

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