Monday, January 30, 2017

The Wicked City - Blog Tour Historical Fiction Review

About The Wicked City

• Hardcover: 384 pages • Publisher: William Morrow (January 17, 2017) New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family. When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy. In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers. Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown. As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . . .

My Review:

This is my 2nd Beatriz Williams in as many weeks and I can definitely say she's going to be a go-to author for me from now on.  This is a dual time line story with newly separated from her husband Ella finding her way in a tiny Greenwich Village apartment with neighbors that treat each other more like family in modern day alternating with street smart and daring Gin Kelly caught in a sticky situation in the 1920s.  Williams did a brilliant job at really making the story lines feel like they're in completely different time periods.  Ella's story is cleaner - more modern while there's a grit to Gin's and just feels like it's taking place in the dark and smoky speak easies that she frequents.  The women are also completely different with Ella trying to avoid the unpleasantness she's left behind and Gin is much more of a take no prisoners kind of woman.  While I enjoyed both I think I preferred Ella's story.  I liked her and found her easy to connect with while Gin had a much rougher time of it and it felt so real that I felt like I was right there with her.  As an added treat I really enjoyed checking in with the Marshall family and meeting Teresa's (the main character in a previous book - A Certain Age) son Billy.  If you enjoy historical fiction you simply must read Beatriz Williams and this is a great place to start!  My Rating: Very Good

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Beatriz Williams

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore. Find out more about Beatriz at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  1. I'd be willing to read anything Beatriz Williamas writes! Adding this one to my list.

  2. I never read Beatriz Williams books before. But I love to give it a try. I'm going to find this book in bookstore once is out in my country. :)


  3. I just love when I discover go-to authors. Isn't that the best? I felt that way when I read my first Tessa Dare book.

  4. Ooh I love that cover! The Jazz Age always interests me. Bootleggers, flappers and Prohibition along with speakasies - sounds like fun. And I would like to try this author. Along the Infinite Sea caught my eye too as I recall

  5. I LOVE dual time line stories.You definitely have me interested in this author now. Great review!!

  6. I enjoy historical fiction so this one is going on my To Read list. Nice review.

  7. I always seem to like one time line more than the other when I read a book with dual time lines. I do love this time period and this is an author that I do want to check out. Glad you enjoyed it.

  8. Sounds like I am going to have to read A Certain Age because now you have me interested in Theresa and Billy! I was a bit disappointed by some of this book because I felt that some promised links never were matched up, but apart from that I enjoyed it too.

  9. It is always fun to read to fabulous books by the same author in a just a few weeks!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.