This is what real historical fiction looks like. It takes place in Manhattan circa 1799, only a few years after the Panic of 1792. There are banking scandals, serious race issues, labor troubles, and plenty of crime and corruption going on.
Justice Flanagan arrives back in the US from a stay in England where he was educated as an attorney. He wants to investigate the very suspicious hanging death of his father which occurred just before he left the US.
The Devil’s Half Mile
by Paddy Hirsch
2018/ 292 pages
Read by Euan Morton – 11h 22m
Rating: A- / historical crime
Justy, as our protagonist is called, gets involved with a variety of people, mostly corrupt, but who can tell, a few of them are pretty obviously above board. One is a very appealing young woman he knew before he left. Another is a Norwegian sailor he met in passage.
Justy arrives at an interesting time – there are many new immigrants especially from Ireland, there are newly freed slaves, there are shysters and con-men and very few laws The language Hirsch uses is strewn with the slang of the times, but there is a glossary at the back for help in navigating
The book is nicely written and so wonderfully well researched that Wall Street and the environment of the era come alive.
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