The Wicked City

The Wicked City

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 impu...

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Title:The Wicked City
Author:Beatriz Williams
Rating:
ISBN:0062405039
Edition Language:English
Format Type:ebook
Number of Pages:384 pages

The Wicked City Reviews

  • Tracy
    Jan 25, 2017

    I really enjoyed this book! It was a very fun read about the Prohibition Era and bootleggers. There was also a modern day story being told about Ella who naturally is part of the Schuyler family. I'll let you discover for yourself where she fits in on the family tree....

    I loved the ending of the 1920s story. I was worried for a bit but things worked out okay. The ending was honestly pretty stressful but things came out okay. The main characters are now headed to Cocoa Beach, the title of the aut

    I really enjoyed this book! It was a very fun read about the Prohibition Era and bootleggers. There was also a modern day story being told about Ella who naturally is part of the Schuyler family. I'll let you discover for yourself where she fits in on the family tree....

    I loved the ending of the 1920s story. I was worried for a bit but things worked out okay. The ending was honestly pretty stressful but things came out okay. The main characters are now headed to Cocoa Beach, the title of the author's next book. So that is something to look forward to!

    I didn't really love the ending of the modern day story with Ella and Hector. It seemed too rushed. I'm not unhappy with how they ended up, just how they suddenly got there from where they were before the final segment on them. It just was a little odd to me.

    Overall I give the book 5 stars because it was very entertaining and definitely pulled me into the story. The ending did not leave me upset or anything, but usually Beatriz Williams' writing is perfection to me and this is the first time (and I've read all of her books) that I've ever had even the slightest complaint.

  • Carrie
    Sep 20, 2016

    I just started reading this and noticed it is rated 1 star. Then I noticed only 1 person has reviewed it so far (no actual review, just a star) , and they are a newbie to GR and have given many books 1 star. So until I finish this, I am rating it 5 stars to balance out the one shady person who gave it 1 star.

  • Jessica
    Oct 30, 2016

    So, some spoilers for this book lay ahead. And a very, very mild spoiler for a couple of Williams’ previous books.

    I reeeeaaaallly wanted to love The Wicked City, and despite a few narrative flaws (a handful of historical anachronisms, some important action happening off-page and being revealed—after the fact—only through dialogue), I was fully prepared to do just that because it was so goshdarn fun to read. Beatriz Williams knows how to write fun, soapish historical fiction that’s unexpected an

    So, some spoilers for this book lay ahead. And a very, very mild spoiler for a couple of Williams’ previous books.

    I reeeeaaaallly wanted to love The Wicked City, and despite a few narrative flaws (a handful of historical anachronisms, some important action happening off-page and being revealed—after the fact—only through dialogue), I was fully prepared to do just that because it was so goshdarn fun to read. Beatriz Williams knows how to write fun, soapish historical fiction that’s unexpected and engaging and that’s why I was so excited to grab an e-galley of this.

    It’s a romp through Prohibition-era Manhattan, where flapper Geneva (Gin) Kelly has landed after running away from her abusive stepfather in rural Western Maryland. She gets caught up in a sweep of the speakeasy next to her apartment and the dashing agent, Oliver Anson, persuades her to help him take down her stepfather, who has since become one of the country’s most notorious—and dangerous—bootleggers. Twists and turns abound in her storyline, but meanwhile, in 1998, Ella Hawthorne moves into that same apartment building after leaving her cheating husband. Intrigued by rumors of ghosts in the former speakeasy next door and the handsome fix-it-man upstairs, Ella is looking for the inspiration she needs to start a new life.

    It was fun, it was peppy, it was full of unexpected plot twists. There’s a little romance and a lot of suspense.

    And, of course, the Schuylers turn up to tie it all together.

    But the last 50 or so pages really took the wind out of my fun sails and I found myself rather disappointed. And I think it’s mostly just because maybe Beatriz Williams wanted to focus on setting up her next book instead of flushing this one out as completely as possible.

    At least, at this point, that’s what I’m hoping happened here.

    Did you read

    ? Remember how there was a B-plot about Pepper restoring a car she’d found in Tiny’s garage and it basically went nowhere until you picked up the next book,

    ? And even then, Pepper's story was not really the central focus. I’m either afraid or hoping that’s what happened here because there’s enough left unresolved to fill another book:

    .

    If you are a die-hard Williams fan, this stuff might not bother you too much, but I’m starting to grow a little weary of the style. If you are new to Williams’ stories, she doesn’t make it super easy to jump in and truly, truly follow the whole universe; each additional book is theoretically stand-alone but the B-plots fill in the Schuyler narrative a little more completely. With each passing book, I suspect it will grow gradually more difficult for new readers to jump in.

    If there is a follow up (

    ), I plan to read it because I do hope to find resolutions to the questions left unanswered, but I think I’m starting to fall just a little bit out of love with Beatriz Williams. I feel like I keep getting burned, because so much of what bothered me here is the same things that frustrated me about

    . I’d really rather have more resolution instead of just build up for something else. Cliffhangers and sequels are all well and good, but Williams’ books are marketed as stand-alones in such a way that I find it frustrating that her M.O. seems to be revealing answers in another book, whose plot seems to have little to do with the one at hand.

  • Jennifer
    Dec 16, 2016

    I am a long-time fan of Beatriz Williams' books. She has a unique ability to create feisty and head-strong female protagonists and interweave historical and modern-day story lines. Top this off with witty and flirty banter between the male and female leads and her books (a la old Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedies) and it's usually one fun romp. Unfortunately this new series fell quite a bit short from her previous works.

    "The Wicked City" is the first in a proposed new series of books featuring

    I am a long-time fan of Beatriz Williams' books. She has a unique ability to create feisty and head-strong female protagonists and interweave historical and modern-day story lines. Top this off with witty and flirty banter between the male and female leads and her books (a la old Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedies) and it's usually one fun romp. Unfortunately this new series fell quite a bit short from her previous works.

    "The Wicked City" is the first in a proposed new series of books featuring the story lines of 1920's flapper "Gin" Kelly and Prohibition agent Oliver Anson, along with modern-day Ella Hawthorn and her handsome neighbor Hector. The 1920's story takes precedence here, and I found the story line to be convoluted and confusing (this wasn't helped by Williams' attempt to write in the vernacular, which I felt detracted -- not added -- to the story). If I read one more reference to NYC being "the wicked city," I might have needed a sip of some bathtub gin myself.

    Williams' books are usually such a delight and she is a writer of great talent. I'm hopeful this book is merely an aberration, and that the next in the series will provide the same level of spunk and smartness we are used to seeing from her.

    Thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Angie
    Feb 07, 2017

    4.5 stars...

    I'm a huge Beatriz Williams fan, and thrilled to see this in the library. I, of course, snagged it and quickly started it. I admit it took me a few chapters to get really "into" the story of Gin, but once I did, I couldn't stop reading! Gin's storyline is the historical one, think 1920's and speakeasies, and she has quite a backstory that we learn about as the book progresses. Complicated, scandalous, and resilient are words I'd use to describe her life. The more modern storyline has

    4.5 stars...

    I'm a huge Beatriz Williams fan, and thrilled to see this in the library. I, of course, snagged it and quickly started it. I admit it took me a few chapters to get really "into" the story of Gin, but once I did, I couldn't stop reading! Gin's storyline is the historical one, think 1920's and speakeasies, and she has quite a backstory that we learn about as the book progresses. Complicated, scandalous, and resilient are words I'd use to describe her life. The more modern storyline has Ella as it's main focus. Her story is compelling and I was totally engrossed in it as well. This particular book reminded me a bit of Lauren Willig's books, another author I adore. A must read for fans of BW and similar authors!

  • DJ Sakata
    Jan 22, 2017

    Favorite Quotes:

    A first marriage, made for the wrong reasons, or because you didn’t have enough experience to judge the merchandise. Like a starter home or a starter car. You trade up.

    She’s the kind of woman who carries an air of beauty around her, carefully cultivated, like a waft of rare oil. Delicate and chiseled. Skin as marble in the moonlight.

    I realize we old folks aren’t supposed to talk about sex… but believe me, we had it. Lots of it. How do you think this country got so damned crowded

    Favorite Quotes:

    A first marriage, made for the wrong reasons, or because you didn’t have enough experience to judge the merchandise. Like a starter home or a starter car. You trade up.

    She’s the kind of woman who carries an air of beauty around her, carefully cultivated, like a waft of rare oil. Delicate and chiseled. Skin as marble in the moonlight.

    I realize we old folks aren’t supposed to talk about sex… but believe me, we had it. Lots of it. How do you think this country got so damned crowded?

    My Review:

    The Wicked City was an intriguing and enthralling conundrum. Written from a dual POV in two distinct timelines spaced 74 years apart and involved the same building in New York City. I was deeply embroiled in the story and the mystery continued to grow and thicken, I was never sure if, how, or when the two stories were going to sync or mesh together, or even how the characters were going to be related. Both female characters in the different storylines were experiencing a period of great upheaval and were fraught with distress. Both storylines featured mounting tension, impending peril, risks, disappointments, betrayals, and treachery. While reading, I experienced a sense of inner conflict similar to arriving at an accident scene and at once feeling fearful to look yet also pulled by a powerful magnet and unable to look away. I was quickly hooked by the elaborately detailed and quirky writing style as well as the premise and was instantly sucked down the rabbit hole and remained there, as despite my increasing befuddlement - I could not put my kindle down. Ms. Williams maintained two tightly written and suspense-filled tales within one book that kept me on edge, curious, totally invested and completely engaged.

  • Zoe
    Jan 10, 2017

    Once again Beatriz Williams sweeps us away into another time and place with a storyline full of deception, lies, adultery, jealousy, love, loss, passion and murder.

    The story is told from two different perspectives. Gin, a young, strong-minded woman who enjoys her independence and the love of more than one man in New York City in the Roaring Twenties when prohibition, jazz, and speakeasies are the norm. And Ella, an intelligent, inquisitive woman who is determined to move forward after discoverin

    Once again Beatriz Williams sweeps us away into another time and place with a storyline full of deception, lies, adultery, jealousy, love, loss, passion and murder.

    The story is told from two different perspectives. Gin, a young, strong-minded woman who enjoys her independence and the love of more than one man in New York City in the Roaring Twenties when prohibition, jazz, and speakeasies are the norm. And Ella, an intelligent, inquisitive woman who is determined to move forward after discovering her husband's infidelity in the Big Apple metropolis of the late 1990s.

    The prose is exquisite and vividly described. The characters are flawed, multi-faceted, and intriguing. And the plot is a fast-paced, complex, fascinating tale with lots of twists, turns, action and suspense that will keep you engaged until the very end.

    What more can I say, I really enjoyed this novel and I can't help but highly recommend it.

    Thank you to Edelweiss, especially William Morrow, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

    All my reviews can be found on my blog at

  • Cindy Burnett
    Jan 15, 2017

    The Wicked City is the first installment in a fabulous new series by Beatriz Williams. The story takes place on a dual timeline – in 1924 and in 1998. The plot is complicated so I will not retell the entire story here. While I liked both story lines a lot, my favorite was the Jazz Age 1920’s plot. Geneva Kelly is highly entertaining, and Williams includes so many twists and turns, none of which I predicted. I love when a tale can surprise me like that! I also learned a ton about the Jazz Age and

    The Wicked City is the first installment in a fabulous new series by Beatriz Williams. The story takes place on a dual timeline – in 1924 and in 1998. The plot is complicated so I will not retell the entire story here. While I liked both story lines a lot, my favorite was the Jazz Age 1920’s plot. Geneva Kelly is highly entertaining, and Williams includes so many twists and turns, none of which I predicted. I love when a tale can surprise me like that! I also learned a ton about the Jazz Age and prohibition which was a great side benefit. The story ends with some issues unresolved that I am dying to know more about. I look forward to her next installment to learn what happens with several characters.

    I definitely recommend this book. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • JT Belangela
    Jan 30, 2017

    I’m not one to give a five-star rating to a favorite author just because. I love Beatriz Williams. Her unforgettable book, Along the Infinite Sea is forever etched on my “stranded on a desert island” reading list. I love all of her books, but not equally. So know that when I give her latest novel The Wicked City, five stars, the talented BW has truly earned it. The Wicked City follows the past-present dueling timelines that a lot of her books do, but because of this talented author’s ability to

    I’m not one to give a five-star rating to a favorite author just because. I love Beatriz Williams. Her unforgettable book, Along the Infinite Sea is forever etched on my “stranded on a desert island” reading list. I love all of her books, but not equally. So know that when I give her latest novel The Wicked City, five stars, the talented BW has truly earned it. The Wicked City follows the past-present dueling timelines that a lot of her books do, but because of this talented author’s ability to captivate, the formula is still fresh. The story toggles between NYC in the twenties, and NYC in the late nineties and the lives of Geneva Kelly and Ella Gilbert. Both female protagonists are scarred, and no matter how you resist, you will be unable to be sucked into their innermost circle. And as BW does so beautifully, just when you think you are coasting along and have the plot figured out, in comes a twist that you never saw coming. (I gasped out loud!) There isn’t another contemporary writer I’ve read who can shift gears as seamlessly as BW can. In one moment you are caught up in her quick-witted twenties lingo, zipping along in Gin’s life, and in the next moment you are right there with a stunned Ella as she catches her husband in an act she wishes she could forget. Beatriz spins her tales of these engaging and relatable leads and then sprinkles her magic on it to brilliantly bring their separate worlds together. With themes like family, betrayal, deception and transformation, The Wicked City is a magnificent read that will leave you completely satisfied yet hungrily begging for more. See what being wicked does to you?

  • The Lit Bitch
    Feb 24, 2017

    When I picked up my first Beatriz Williams book, I was completely engrossed and fell in love with her writing style.

    I wasn’t sure that I would like her books and wasn’t excited to read the first one, but I did and when I began, I was completely sucked in and impressed with her ability to tell a story.

    So from that point on, she earned a place in my heart as one of my favorite writers.

    When this latest book came across my desk for review, I was thrilled because I knew the caliber of writing and sto

    When I picked up my first Beatriz Williams book, I was completely engrossed and fell in love with her writing style.

    I wasn’t sure that I would like her books and wasn’t excited to read the first one, but I did and when I began, I was completely sucked in and impressed with her ability to tell a story.

    So from that point on, she earned a place in my heart as one of my favorite writers.

    When this latest book came across my desk for review, I was thrilled because I knew the caliber of writing and story telling would be second to none and I wasn’t disappointed in this one!The ‘jazz age’ or ‘prohibition era’ isn’t really my favorite era in American history. It’s not even in the top 5, but it’s a popular time period in historical fiction right now, so I’ve tried to embrace it over the last year or so. Even though I wasn’t ‘excited’ about a book set in this time period, I love Williams and had confidence that she would be able to create a lovable story for her readers.

    While I personally wasn’t a fan of the period, even in this book, it was the love story that made me love this novel. The mismatched love story between Gin and Oliver was charming believable, and memorable. The chemistry between them was electric and made me want to keep reading to see things heat up. I loved their story and I think it’s one that will hold readers interests.

    Williams tends to have two storylines in her novels…..the modern day story and the historical fiction story. While I think it worked in Along the Infinite Sea, I am not entirely convinced that this story needed the modern day parallel story.

    For me the relationship and story that shined was the Gin/Oliver story and Ella’s story seemed less drawn out and more of a filler. I personally was much more invested in the other plot and could have done without Ella’s plot.

    William’s hallmark style is a descriptive, whimsical, and elegant style with memorable characters and to that, this book doesn’t disappoint. Though a tad slow in the beginning, the overall pace of the novel picks up and readers will easily fall into the story after a couple of quick chapters.

    While this wasn’t a five star book for me, it was entertaining and a wonderful love story that offered the perfect escape for me. If you haven’t discovered Beatriz Williams yet, you are missing out. This is just another book that cements my initial reaction to her writing……her books are wonderful and will not disappoint!