Lyndsay Faye is the author of critically acclaimed DUST AND SHADOW, and is featured in BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2010. Faye, a true New Yorker in the sense that she was born elsewhere, lives in Manhattan with her husband, Gabriel.
No one in 1840s New York likes fires, but Copper Star Timothy Wilde least of all. So when an arsonist with an agenda begins threatening Alderman Robert Symmes, a corrupt and powerful leader high in the Tammany Hall ranks, Wilde isn’t thrilled to be involved. His reservations escalate further when his brother Valentine announces that he’ll be running against Symmes in the upcoming election, making both himself and Timothy a host of powerful enemies.
Officer Timothy Wilde is horrified when he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property. When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is “My family.”
One night, while making his rounds as a reluctant NYPD officer, Timothy Wilde runs into a girl not more than 10 years old dashing through the dark covered head to toe in blood. He takes her home, where she spins wild stories, claiming that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of 23rd Street.