The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye


“Hope, I’ve discovered, is a sad nuisance. Hope is a horse with a broken leg.”

— Lyndsay Faye, The Gods of Gotham

       This novel is quite special for me. After several years without cracking a fiction for the simple love of reading, I was gifted for Christmas 2015 with a copy of this historical crime thriller. My wonderful girlfriend reached into a dark and cold abyss and pulled me out of a slumber that I foresee will never happen again. Stuck in a non-fiction novel on criminal studies and enjoying one every year or so, I had lost a great love for books; a strong love that berth in my elementary days and followed me into the first half of my high school years. Finding her and being pulled back into the literature world has shown me the number of years I’ve lost not reading novel when there was so much a work of fiction had to offer to the simple mind. Rekindling my love for books wasn’t a process. It was instantaneous. This novel showed me that authors can do a lot more with words than we can imagine. The strength of a sentence to have an impact on your perception of an element in the story is truly terrifying. It is absolutely tremendous and  still sends chills down my spine. This background tale was not only to warn you in advance that my rating of the book could be considered biased since The Gods of Gotham is the first fiction read after countless years; I did not have much experience, if one could call it so, to be able to analyze and criticize the characters, the setting, the plot or the ending. Then again, I still believe Lyndsay Faye’s newest hero deserves to be followed in his adventures.

          Set in 1845, Timothy Wilde tends a bar in the heart of Gotham. He’s collected and saved every possible coin so that one day he could leave on an fairy tale journey with the one lady he wishes to have by his side for the rest of his life, Mercy Underhill. Settling down, marrying her and using every single penny of the 400$ he’s saved up overall countless years of serving ale and listening to ruthless stories of customers is a future he holds dear and wishes to exhaust very soon. However a tragic fire incident turns the town upside down. Wilde loses his bar, his house and half his face. Living on the brink of despair, the town is set on a path of reconstruction and one of the biggest change is the creation of the first police force. Timothy Wilde gets entangled into the process as his brothers gives him a job opportunity as an enforcer of justice. It’s when destiny has Wilde encounter a young girl in the middle of nowhere soaked in blood that our beloved bartender is set on his first brutal adventure. A mystery adventure filled with historical references.


“His eyes flew back at me and I could see whole civilizations, cities that he’d built and cherished and planned for, like the model of an entire world, all crumbling.”

— Lyndsay Faye, The Gods of Gotham

            The novel investigates Timothy Wilde’s character so well and that you can’t help but realize his evolution throughout his adventure. There isn’t a moment that goes by where you don’t feel the character’s motives and objectives change and watch Wilde become a completely different person from what he was before the big flame. It’s the fact that he’s flawed that definitely makes him more compelling. Watching him grow hope and faith in the law enforcement beginnings and the copper star that goes with is makes this an amazing tale. Every once in a while, the creation of the New York City Police Department makes its impact on the characters and shows readers diverse dilemmas that its becoming has on society. The novels forte lies notably in its capacity to seamlessly incorporate history in the storyline. The only other novel that does it in a godlike fashion is The Alienist by Caleb Carr and I understand now why some individuals are able to put this two novels in the same sentence. The potato famine in Ireland, the creation of a police corp and the class wars that plague 1845 are some examples among others that showcases amazing story background. These elements are implemented into the story so beautifully that it becomes hard to not realize how brilliant Lyndsay Faye makes use of it.


“Elections decide which horde of rats gets to gnaw at the bones.”

— Lyndsay Faye, The Gods of Gotham

           Human behavior is very well portrayed in The Gods of Gotham. Every character had something to offer when came their time to shine. The relationships are genuine and are well-developed throughout the story. Some relationships even serve as a great back story to the protagonists adventure. Family, friends, love, you name it. They were all present and were nothing less than intriguing. The plot also has its fair share of action. You’ll be prompted to swiftly go through pages without even knowing. I also enjoyed discovering clues and suspects as the protagonist does so too. Every path he takes is simply entertaining and helped me enjoy the details put into establishing the setting. One thing’s for sure, the plot has plenty of similarities to what The Alienist by Caleb Carr has laid down for readers. Although Caleb Carr’s novel was a lot more robust and an extraordinary amount of research was put into that novel, Lyndsay Faye’s first of a series delivers a much more easier on the mind crime thriller.


“People tell me things they shouldn’t. Things they ought to be powdering over, shoveling underground, facts they ought to be stuffing into a carpetbag before dropping into the river and quietly drowning.”

— Lyndsay Faye, The Gods of Gotham

         If you’re looking for a fun historical crime thriller, you’ve landed on a jackpot. The Gods of Gotham is definitely a novel worth reading when time permits. Its ability to mix history and a whodunit adventure is splendid. It doesn’t take a genius to see in Timothy Wilde, one of the first  officers of New York city, as a potential character who has plenty of captivating adventures to comes. A novel discovering the first baby steps of a police department known to almost every man alive is definitely a great premise to start reading this novel. As if historical events fit into a work of fiction wasn’t already enough of a reason to pick up this novel and gnaw through every inch of it. Did I also mention that the book has an absolutely exquisite cover? And back? It’s also filled with a bunch of quotes from giants of the literature world, but at least they’re well placed throughout the cover! I just can’t wait to read it’s sequel and every other work of Lyndsay Faye. Yep. I’m a believer.

          Don’t forget to share your thoughts about this review and the book, as well as like and follow us so we can be motivated to get you guys more reviews to enjoy. So how about you try this novel for yourself? If you’re interested in this story, you can purchase a copy of The Gods of Gotham by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★★★★★/

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10 thoughts on “The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye

  1. The pictures are great ! Thought this was about Batman ahha but suprisingly looks very interesting ! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your writing is impeccable man

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man! Appreciate that you still read through it! 😀 Hhahahahaha I would’ve made the same mistake! At least it got you to come out of the shadows and read my review, right? 😉

      – Lashaan


  2. You have a way with words that is simply talent ! Fell in love with your writing already haha 🙂 You should use that to impress your girlfriend, I hope 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to do so without my knowledge! 😀 Thank you so much for all the kind words. Glad you enjoy it yourself! Hope to see you around on my future reviews. 😉

      – Lashaan


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