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City of liars and thieves

City of Liars and Thieves: A Novel - Eve Karlin

What a fascinating read this turned out to be, so much history that I knew of so little. Caty Ringer and her husband Elias are running a boarding house in Manhattan in the late 1790's. Needing help, her cousin Elma comes to stay, a young woman with an unmarried mother, father unknown. A fact City's husband frowns on. In this society at this time period and as Quakers, many already consider Elma a woman of loose morals.

Clean water is a precious commodity and hard to come by. Aaron Burr promised to dig wells and being clean water to Manhattan. One well is dug but it soon becomes clear that Burr has different plans. The first recorded murder trial in America, finds Burr and Hamilton working together to defend the supposed murderer of Elma.

Such a highly charged political time, Burr, Hamilton, Jefferson and the hotly contested election of 1800. Secret plots, back door dealings and a young woman who gets caught in the middle and pays with her life. So incredibly interesting.

The book ends with an afterward from the author stating not only what is true or not, but also following these characters and letting us know what happens to them in the future, politically and personally. Apparently the well that Elam is found in still actually exists in the basement of a building still standing. Amazing really how some history remains, lingers in stories and places.

The author did a wonderful job in bringing this period of history to life, letting us feel the time period and the real people that were part of this terrible tragedy. A very good read for history and true crime readers.

ARC from NetGalley.