#BookReview: The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

the wicked citySummary:

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. . . .


I’m such a fan of the 1920s. If there was one time period I could go back and observe, The Roaring Twenties is my top choice. I’m also a huge fan of books exactly like THE WICKED CITY, weaving readers between past and present. I’ve read several others from Beatriz Williams and was looking forward to her next offering.

The story of Gin is quite captivating. The entire story set in the past – from flappers to bootleggers and the romances – had me on edge. I was smitten with this plot point. The one set in the present wasn’t quite as strong to me. Ella was a little harder to warm up to, and at times the storyline seemed a bit weak. I found myself itching to get back to Gin and her wild tales. I’m also seeing this is the start of a series, which is a good thing, because I was quite confused how the story ended. There was several unfinished plot points that left me curious, but overall I quite liked this book and would read more from these characters.

4 stars