The Wrath of Moses
by John Sturgeon
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Pub Date 02 Jul 2015 | Archive Date 28 Sep 2016
After the shocking murder of his father, Patrick Moses is forced back into duty in the crime-plagued Levee District. The mysterious, blonde-haired mute, a man Moses believes to be responsible for four murders, continues to elude the police. Tracking him is an endless task, but Moses and his new partner, Sam Walker, are asked to step up their investigation of the "Prostitute Murders" after the head of a courtesan is found impaled on the tip of a sword in front of the precinct building. When the twin daughters of a successful elevator manufacturer are kidnapped, Moses and Walker are asked to prioritize this new case. As the pressure mounts and the cases get darker, Moses begins to unravel. The trips to the opium den and his drinking take over. Moses knows he is slowly becoming one of the Levee District animals he usually tracks.
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John Sturgeon's "The Wrath of Moses" is a wonderfully written book. It is mirrors quite well the Chicago that Erik Larson writes about in "The Devil in the White City". If you have not read John Sturgeon's "The Crimes of the Levee" I would recommend that you read that first. This is not absolutely necessary as this newest chapter of Patrick Moses does read quite well as a stand-alone. You understand throughout that there is backstory but there is plenty of references that you get a feel for what transpired. I have not read his first book but as a compliment to Mr Sturgeon I now find it necessary to go pick up a copy.
Patrick Moses is a man under a tremendous amount of stress. The murder of prostitutes continues though the man thought to have been behind them is dead. A string of unrelated murders has been added to his case load. And a new kidnapping has occurred. All three cases are top priorities. To relieve the stress Patrick is drinking far to much and visiting an opium den. To say that he is a flawed character is an understatement.
Mr Sturgeon's prose is rough but it seems to be intentional. A rough era, in a rough city, in a rough district. His writing style echoes down dirty alleyways, through brothels and opium dens, and into the upscale neighborhoods. His characters have depth where needed. Even characters who appear only briefly have a story, even though unwritten. Your imagination is engaged. For an author to engage your imagination is a truly remarkable thing. I can see each of the people who populate this Chicago.
I look forward to reading more from John Sturgeon.
I wish to thank the Publisher, the author, and NetGalley for my free review copy in exchange for this honest review.
A thrilling adventure that will stick with you long after the final page has been read.
This book is perfect for fans of historical crime, as it is packed full of crime! With Moses trying desperately to solve 3 cases. At times I felt there was a little too much going on but I managed to stay interested in the evolving cases. I did figure them out a before the book revealed them but I didn't feel this stopped my enjoyment at all of the novel.
The era, setting and descriptions of the brothels are spot on. They really set the scene for the novel and it's a very unique idea.
Moses himself is a very likeable character, albeit a conflicted man hiding his grief with opium. The story weaves his character amazingly as we watch his slow descent into a much darker violent man. The poverty, crime and brutality all around him tainting his character and intentions. Moses is written so very well, the reader most definitely wants to continue his journey throughout the series.
I will be following this series in the future and would recommend to others.