New York, 1799: Justy Flanagan, lawyer, soldier, policeman, has returned to his native city, bloodied and battered after fighting in the Irish Rebellion against the English. Determined to hunt down the man who murdered his father, his inquiries lead him to Wall Street and the fledgling stock market there.
But as his investigations into the past move ahead, the horrific murders of young slave women in the present start to occupy his time. Convinced that there is a link between his father’s murder, the deaths of the young women, and a massive fraud that nearly destroyed New York’s economy, Justy can trust no one.
As the conspiracy deepens, it becomes clear that those involved will stop atnothing to keep their secrets. Justy is forced to choose: will he betray his father’s memory, compromise his integrity, and risk the lives of his closest friends, to get to the bottom of a tale so dangerous, it could change the landscape of America forever?
I loved this. I’ve been getting more into the historical stuff lately and The Devil’s Half Mile had a rich and realistic sense of place alongside an absolutely gripping central story.
Justy Flanagan is a brilliantly formed character who I fell in love with. Paddy Hirsch has such a great way of using language to breathe life into his characters and an often visceral descriptive sense that brings their surroundings to utterly vivid life.
The story itself is fascinatingly addictive, murder, politics, betrayal and classically clever little twists and turns to keep things unexpected. The vagaries of that periods social and economic realities are soundly embedded into the plot and overall this is one to sink into and really appreciate.
Pacy, beautifully written , darkly observant and ever intriguing, The Devil’s Half Mile comes highly recommended from me. Bring on the next!