Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Westside by W. M. Akers

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for W. M. Akers's debut, Westside.

In 1921 New York, Gilda Carr makes a living investigating "tiny mysteries." No murders, kidnappings, or otherwise dangerous investigations for her, just small mysteries that niggle at the back of your mind until an answer is found.

See in New York's Westside, the place Gilda calls home, dangerous mysteries tend to be the norm. Like the mystery her father was investigating when he disappeared. Things aren't normal on the Westside, which is why a fence separates it from the rest of New York. It's also why folks are warned away from the Westside and even the bravest of its residents don't go out after dark.

Gilda's latest case involves a missing glove. Seems simple enough. But in spite of all attempts otherwise, Gilda ends up getting sucked into a much bigger mystery. One that's quite dangerous indeed. One that forces Gilda to look into the one case she's avoided like the plague for over two years: what happened to Virgil Carr.

Westside is one of the most highly imaginative mysteries I've come across in quite some time.

The setting is part oddball supernatural and part early twentieth century New York City. Prohibition is in place. Thugs run the bad parts of town. And people disappear mysteriously on a regular basis. No explanation for the vanishings has ever been found. Nor has there ever been any explanation for the other weird things that happen on the Westside. Food rots and spoils immediately, strange smells emanate from unknown places, foliage grows abnormally huge, and things disappear quite suddenly. Which is why it doesn't seem odd that Gilda's hired to find a missing glove.

But the glove bears a mark that kicks off another mystery. This one connected to Gilda's own missing father, once a cop and investigatory himself. And before that, one of the city's more well known heavies!

Westside was such a fun read! It's grounded in historical New York, but the weirdness is super weird and the mystery keeps growing and growing with each new and odd happening. Gilda is great fun, a woman who is still reeling from the loss of her father and basically trying to keep busy so she can avoid thinking of it. This case, though, forces her to explore her father's fate even as she fights against it.

I loved the grounded sense the "real" setting gave the story but I especially loved each new and strange thing the Westside threw at our heroine and I can't wait to see if Akers will continue exploring this world with further novels.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. And for more on W. M. Akers you can visit his website here.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Libro.fm


IYamVixen2 said...

This looks superb! Thank you for bringing it to my attention to add to the WWBL.

Sara Strand said...

I wasn't so sure if this would be a story for me but so far the reviews are so great that I feel like if I don't read it I'm missing out on the party! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours