Wyrd and Wonder: Stunning Debut : Westside by WM Akers


(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

The month of May is full of Wyrd and Wonder and today’s prompt is ‘Stunning Debut’.

I’ve just finished reading Westside by WM Akers and I absolutely loved it, my review isn’t posted yet but I wanted to share the love of this book with everyone and today’s prompt is the perfect opportunity.  This is a story that marries mystery, urban fantasy and 1920’s prohibition New York.  The setting is a divided city and the atmosphere is reminiscent of Gangs of New York.  It gave me a Gaiman/Lynch vibe in the portrayal of other worldliness and the criminal underworld.  A definite 5 out of 5 star read for me.

WestsideHere’s the synopsis and cover:

A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman.

New York is dying, and the one woman who can save it has smaller things on her mind.

It’s 1921, and a thirteen-mile fence running the length of Broadway splits the island of Manhattan, separating the prosperous Eastside from the Westside—an overgrown wasteland whose hostility to modern technology gives it the flavor of old New York. Thousands have disappeared here, and the respectable have fled, leaving behind the killers, thieves, poets, painters, drunks, and those too poor or desperate to leave.

It is a hellish landscape, and Gilda Carr proudly calls it home.

Slightly built, but with a will of iron, Gilda follows in the footsteps of her late father, a police detective turned private eye. Unlike that larger-than-life man, Gilda solves tiny mysteries: the impossible puzzles that keep us awake at night; the small riddles that destroy us; the questions that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. Those tiny cases distract her from her grief, and the one impossible question she knows she can’t answer: “How did my father die?”

Yet on Gilda’s Westside, tiny mysteries end in blood—even the case of a missing white leather glove. Mrs. Copeland, a well-to-do Eastside housewife, hires Gilda to find it before her irascible merchant husband learns it is gone. When Gilda witnesses Mr. Copeland’s murder at a Westside pier, she finds herself sinking into a mire of bootlegging, smuggling, corruption—and an evil too dark to face.

All she wants is to find one dainty ladies’ glove. She doesn’t want to know why this merchant was on the wrong side of town—or why he was murdered in cold blood. But as she begins to see the connection between his murder, her father’s death, and the darkness plaguing the Westside, she faces the hard truth: she must save her city or die with it.

Introducing a truly remarkable female detective, Westside is a mystery steeped in the supernatural and shot through with gunfights, rotgut whiskey, and sizzling Dixieland jazz. Full of dazzling color, delightful twists, and truly thrilling action, it announces the arrival of a remarkable talent.



10 Responses to “Wyrd and Wonder: Stunning Debut : Westside by WM Akers”

  1. Tammy

    I agree, I loved this too! I’m really looking forward to your review😁

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I’ve been hearing really good things about this, but some reviews I’ve read also make me worried it might be a little on the weird side. Hmm, choices choices!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I don’t really think this was weird – well, I tend to think of VanderMeer as weird. This is dark, and it is different – but I’m not thinking it’s weird. I’m trying not to give away spoilers. I would say, and it’s difficult to compare, but if forced I’d say Gangs of New York meets Scott Lynch’s seedy criminal underworld from LoLL meets Neverwhere – or maybe City and the City – although I’ve not read that one so difficult to say but the descriptions make me think so.
      Lynn 😀

  3. bkfrgr

    Tammy’s review for this was glowing – it’s great to hear you loved it too (I can’t wait to read your full review). 🙂 Definitely on my next book splurge list. *ridiculously excited* ❤

    • @lynnsbooks

      I agree with Tammy – this was great and I loved it.
      Lynn 😀

  4. mervih

    This sounds very interesting. Looking forward to your full review

    • @lynnsbooks

      I just loved it – you know, it really gave me a Lynch, Lies of Locke Lamora vibe with the underworld and the gangs, of course it’s very different – but it was so good.
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    This sounds amazing! Adding it to my tbr pile immediately. Thanks for the review, Lynn!

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