Westside, Book #2
By W.M. Akers
Author’s Website: www.wmakers.net
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Return to a twisted version of Jazz Age New York in this follow up to the critically acclaimed fantasy Westside, as relentless sleuth Gilda Carr’s pursuit of tiny mysteries drags her into a case that will rewrite everything she knows about her past.
Six months ago, the ruined Westside of Manhattan erupted into civil war, and private detective Gilda Carr nearly died to save her city. In 1922, winter has hit hard, and the desolate Lower West is frozen solid. Like the other lost souls who wander these overgrown streets, Gilda is weary, cold, and desperate for hope. She finds a mystery instead.
Hired by a family of eccentric street preachers to recover a lost saint’s finger, Gilda is tempted by their promise of “electric resurrection,” when the Westside’s countless dead will return to life. To a detective this cynical, faith is a weakness, and she is fighting the urge to believe in miracles when her long dead mother, Mary Fall, walks through the parlor door.
Stricken with amnesia, Mary remembers nothing of her daughter or her death, but that doesn’t stop her from being as infuriatingly pushy as Gilda herself. As her mother threatens to drive her insane, Gilda keeps their relationship a secret so that they can work together to investigate what brought Mary back to life. The search will force Gilda to reckon with the nature of death, family, and the uncomfortable fact that her mother was not just a saint, but a human being.
Tiny mysteries are the specialty of Gilda Carr such as lost gloves, the forgotten name of a special song, or a kind of shade of blue from a memory. In this case, it all starts with the small finger of a dead saint and while trying to find it Gilda stumbles upon the secrets of a religious family and her mother that should have been dead years ago. Now, Gilda has to figure out why the dead are coming back and why there is a secret mob organization trying to take over the Westside by using the religious scheme.
Love the world of the Westside series and the new magical side of New York. Now I wonder if other cities in the United States of this world have slipt and have magical unpredictable sides.
It was great to see Gilda back. I liked her character in the first installment of the Westside series. While in the first book she is just trying to get by, in this new story, Gilda is trying to survive a harsh winter and the guilt of the people that die and she killed in the previous book. It was nice to see a new side of her and character growth.
The Westside is a strange and magical place and it seems that it doesn’t leave the dead alone to which Gilda keeps being haunted by those she loved and lost. I liked that we got to meet Mary and Virgil, the parents of Gilda, even if they are different from those she knew before.
I liked this book; it was a good mystery book because I wasn’t able to predict the end outcome or who was pulling the strings in the shadows.
Given how the first book ended, I didn’t think there was going to be a sequel. In this new book, the story brought back previous characters and set new ones for future stories, just like loose ends that Gilda may need to clear in the future.
If you are a fan of W.M. Akers and other work, then I recommend you Westside Saints. Gilda Carr is back with a new mystery to solve, but not all tiny mysteries are tiny, some are actually the tip of the iceberg and much bigger things lurking in the dark.