City of Thieves and Liars by Eve Karlin

city of liars and thievesBlurb from, please scroll down for my review.

A crime that rocked a city. A case that stunned a nation. Based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial, Eve Karlin’s spellbinding debut novel re-creates early nineteenth-century New York City, where a love affair ends in a brutal murder and a conspiracy involving Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr erupts in shattering violence.

It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.

On the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.

Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.

Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

My Review

Genre: historical fiction, murder mystery

I am enjoying historical fiction more and more with each book I read, this is a debut novel from the author Eve Karlin. The book starts off slow but with great details and descriptions of New York of the year 1799, it doesn’t seem to be a nice place from the descriptions. I particularly enjoyed that part of the book, I could visualize the area Caty and Elias lived in, the streets, the boarding house, etc. The book really gets going when Elma goes missing, from then on the pace hots up, with a search and finally a trial for murder. There is a fair amount of politics also but the author doesn’t overdo it. You can get into the era, with the language in the book, I learned a little about Quakers and I enjoyed it overall.

It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.

The book is well researched  and it is based on the facts of the murder of Elma Sands. It is written from the point of view of Caty, in the first person. Well written. I enjoyed Caty´s character, strong willed in a difficult time and circumstances. I thought Elias was difficult, I didn’t get to grips with him at all. Croucher was colourful. I can recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction, crime and a well written book.


eve karlinAbout the Author
Eve Karlin was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of Colgate University, where she studied literature and creative writing with Frederick Busch. Karlin worked in publishing for more than a decade in marketing, at Random House, Newsweek, and, later, as a foreign book scout with clients in the United Kingdom, Italy, Holland, Brazil, and Japan. She has had several short stories published in The East Hampton Star and has been a contributing writer for She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband and their sixteen-year-old triplets. City of Liars and Thieves is her first book.


About the Book

File Size: 3274 KB

Print Length: 258 pages

Publisher: Alibi (January 13, 2015)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Language: English


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s