May 17, 11
Read in May, 2011
A young Irish immigrant to America in the 1740s, chasing the Earl who murdered his mother and father and seeking to avenge their deaths, is given the "gift" of immortality, provided he never leaves the island of Manhattan. (What, no trips to Brooklyn, the center of the universe?) Hamill does a clever, massively researched job of inserting Cormac O'Connor into major events in New York history, from the fires of 1741, which resulted in the lynchings and burnings of several slaves who were blamed for the events; the Revolutionary War and the British Army's horrific prisons; all the way up through 9/11, which is given a new dimension with the feeling of all of New York history rushing toward this moment. At times the book feels a bit over-written, but Hamill's obvious love for Manhattan comes through on every richly researched page.