Monday, 4 September 2017

A Promise of Ruin

Author: Cuyler Overholt
Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery

Series: #2 in the Dr. Genevieve Summerford series
Type: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
First Published: August 1, 2017
First Line: "On the last day of life as she knew it, Teresa Casoria stood at the rail of the steamship Madonna and watched the sun rise over America."

Book Description from GoodReadsTo stop the trafficking ring plaguing her city, Dr. Genevieve Summerford must dive into New York’s underworld 

In early 1900's New York, the formidable crime syndicate known as the Black Hand has been terrorizing the city's Italian community with bombings and kidnappings. When a young Italian girl is found drowned and sexually defiled, Dr. Genevieve Summerford suspects the organization has expanded into forced prostitution, and she won't rest until the trafficking ring is brought to justice.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

My ReviewSet in early 1900's New York City, A Promise of Ruin is the second book in the Dr Genevieve Summerford historical mystery series. Genna is a young psychologist and continues to struggle to make a name for herself especially since some people think her profession is not something a woman should strive for.

Central to the plot is the plight of Italian immigrants who flooded New York City at the time but the strength of this book is in its historical information and the blatant prejudice against these immigrants. The Blackhand, a group of Italians who prayed on their fellow countrymen with abuse, threats and extortion as well as sex-trafficking, kidnapping, sex abuse etc are important and eye-opening parts of the plot.

One of the aspects that I enjoyed from the first book was a look at the psychiatric profession through the eyes of a woman in the early 20th century.  That struggle is focused on less in this book and readers who dive right into this book (which could be read as a standalone) will miss out on much of that important aspect of the series.

The mystery itself was good but lacked the energy of the first book and I felt that the romance between Genna and Simon ran a little lukewarm. While it took me a bit to get back into the characters lives, the plot ramps up with a solid ending. I look forward to more books featuring Dr Summerford.

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