cover image Hudson’s Kill

Hudson’s Kill

Paddy Hirsch. Forge, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9916-8

Hirsch’s stellar sequel to 2018’s The Devil’s Half Mile finds Justy Flanagan serving as a marshal in Manhattan in 1803. Crime is rising in the expanding city, but upper class residents, who can afford to protect themselves, oppose a permanent police force, fearing the equivalent of a standing army, and politicians object to the concept as an English idea. When Kerry O’Toole, a former pickpocket to whom Justy has given a chance to lead a law-abiding life, comes across an unidentified teenage girl in an alley who shortly after dies of a ghastly knife wound, Justy investigates. Tattoos on the dead girl’s hands suggest that she’s a Muslim, which, along with her dark skin color, makes identifying her and catching her killer a low priority for Justy’s boss. Justy persists, however, and his inquiries take him and Kerry to Hudson’s Kill, the home of a significant Muslim community, whose members aren’t entirely cooperative. Hirsch makes the most of his setting and has a rich vein of potential future plots to mine. Historical mystery fans will be enthralled. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore and Co. (Sept.)