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The Midnight Band of Mercy

by Michael Blaine

"The Midnight Band of Mercy succeeds on many levels. It's a meticulously drawn social history. It is a mystery with a message. And on top of that it is a hell of a yarn that moves with the velocity of a newspaperman on a hot story. "-Michael Connelly, author of The Narrows "This very satisfying novel, saturated with just the right historical details-like Time and Again but with the gloves taken off-captures the jostle and clash and color of a rough, raffish, explosive 1890s New York. It's a delicious read. "-Phillip Lopate, author of Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan "An engrossing thriller. . . . The Alienist now has a more than worthy successor in this masterful tale by Michael Blaine. "-Neal Bascomb, author of Higher and The Perfect Mile "A corking good historical novel set in 1890s Gotham. Real and fictional characters-cops and gangsters, pious hypocrites and intrepid reporters, shyster lawyers and settlement workers-pursue one another through the streets, slums, bars, boardinghouses, courtrooms, churches, and whorehouses of a nineteenth-century New York whose sights, sounds and smells are meticulously and accurately evoked. "-Mike Wallace, co-author of Gotham: a History of New York City to 1898 Max Greengrass is a "space-rater" at the New York Herald, paid by the column inch. A pugilist turned reporter, he hustles to get by, and good stories are hard to come by. Then he trips over one: a dead cat, laid out on the sidewalk alongside others arranged in some pattern. Investigating further, he discovers an organization of respectable ladies committed to ridding the city of its mongrel hordes of cats. Catricide! It's bizarre and makes for a story, but it also leads him toward something far more sinister, the Eugenics Movement-improving the race through culling poor genetic stock, a high-minded concept advocated by many American leaders, later adopted by fascist movements in Europe. The dead cats are connected to it in a way both unthinkable and horrifying. At the heart of The Midnight Band of Mercy is a story of the slaughter of innocents too strange to be true, except most of it is. Michael Blaine</

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