Wednesday, January 14, 2015

City of Liars and Thieves by Eve Karlin + a Giveaway

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Eve Karlin's City of Liars and Thieves. There is a tour wide giveaway on this one, so be sure to read through to the end to enter.

On a cold and snowy night, young Elma Sands set off supposedly to wed her sweetheart. But when he returned home alone, claiming they'd not had plans that evening, Elma's cousin, Caty, becomes concerned. As days pass with no sign of Elma, some claim she may have run off or even tried to kill herself. But Caty knows her cousin would do neither of those things. No, Caty fears something much more sinister. 

And twelve days later her fears would prove to be correct.

I was immediately intrigued by the fact that this book is based on an actual case. As the author outlines on her website, it's said to be "the first recorded murder trial in US history..." and of course it also involves two of the most famous personalities of the time: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The case is referred to as the Manhattan Well Murder. There are various pieces about it online, but I found this one particularly interesting as the famed well is still in existence. It's a macabre tourist attraction, that's for sure.

Eve Karlin's spin on the historic murder (one I'd not heard of before) is an intriguing read. The story unfolds via Caty's perspective, making the tale both suspenseful and emotional. Caty's fear, remorse, and frustration can be felt intensely throughout the tale. The theory set forth by the author in her imagining of the murder isn't without merit and Karlin does a great job weaving together her fictional accounts with actual historical ones. As an added bonus, Karlin's afterword does outlines various historical references and the fates of many of the real life players in the case. It's a quite interesting read (as is the book for that matter).

I would have liked for certain aspects of City of Liars and Thieves to have been further fleshed out. The time leading up to the murder moves by quite quickly and a little more time and attention to the characters' lives and motivations would have been welcome. Even without that, though, the book proves to be a pretty darn good read.

Rating: 3.5/4

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Eve and her work, you can find her on the web here. You can also like her on Facebook.

And now for the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I know a bit of this story but I didn't realize it was the first murder trial in the US. Fascinating!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Becky LeJeune said...

You know, I could be wrong but I think it's the first one to have been "recorded" literally, rather than the first trial. It's a bit confusing the way it's quoted but her afterword mentions something about the actual reporter covering the trial and that was my understanding of it after reading the note.