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Goodreads: New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.
Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.
But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist's spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls' friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose's fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.
But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out?
Kritters Thoughts: A historical fiction with a little bit of an eerie thriller twist. Rose is telling the story from the future and it is obvious that from the start the story is going to go downhill at some point, but the reader just doesn't know when, where and why. The who part is easy - it is clear that the new typist Odalie will be involved in some way.
Rose was a great character and as a narrator I enjoyed the way the story was presented. It made it interesting to hear her tell the story from the future with her thoughts added in for good measure. I also enjoyed the concentration on prohibition - I don't think I have read many books that focused on the time period in this way with a look at this very big subject matter. A fun side note, I am a police officer's wife and I loved reading about the inner workings of an older time in a police office.
I enjoyed this one, but didn't love it. I think I have read quite a bit of historical fiction mainly set in New York and as I have read them all recently, I compare them and this one didn't live up to the others, but was still good in its own right. At times I felt like the pacing slowed down in the middle and then just went crazy fast at the end, so maybe I would have ranked it higher if the pacing was more even.
Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.