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Seven for a Secret (Timothy Wilde, #2)
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Seven for a Secret

(Timothy Wilde #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,118 ratings  ·  589 reviews
Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices — until 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 plantatio ...more
Hardcover, 445 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2013)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  4,118 ratings  ·  589 reviews

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(B-) 70% | Satisfactory
Notes: Cautious and wimpy, it’s cloyed by retrospective moralizing: so delicately inoffensive as to be narratively ineffectual.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bayb-2018

3.5 stars

In this second book in the 'Timothy Wilde' series, Tim is one of New York City's first police officers - on the trail of corrupt slave catchers. The book can be read as a standalone.


In the mid-1800s, New York City had hundreds of thousands of residents living in rotting wooden tenements amid abysmal sanitary conditions. Moreover, the population increased every day as immigrants - especially Irish fleeing from the 'Great Famine' - flowed into the city. Overcrowding and unemployment
I gushed over Lyndsay Faye's The Gods of Gotham, her debut foray into the dark heart of New York City 1845 and the violent and inauspicious origins of its first police force -- the copper stars. In its pages Faye strikes a remarkable balance between the thrilling and cerebral aspects of a good mystery and blends it with the rich detail and sumptuous atmosphere of the best historical fiction.

More than the mystery and the historical details, what really makes this series a great read is Faye's co
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I love this series. The author immerses us in the time period, gritty and ugly and seamy elements and all. Timothy Wilde is an incredibly engaging and sympathetic narrator. He has a powerful sense of justice, but at the same time, it's impossible for him not to be a little cynical, if not very aware that lofty ideals mean nothing in the world in which he inhabits.

Timothy is permanently scarred both physically and emotionally by the events of the 1st book, The Gods of Gotham, and he's slowly fin
A disappointing second installment. Timothy Wilde seemed much more street-smart and competent in The Gods of Gotham, and the love-hate relationship between Timothy and his brother Valentine was over-used here. As with The Gods of Gotham, I found the tough-minded, politically savvy Valentine with all his personal demons much more interesting than the underdog Timothy. Timothy spent too much time pining for Mercy Underhill, and the way his thoughts were written continually reminded me that he was ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Six months after the events of The Gods of Gotham, where-in we get to participate in the 1845 founding and very early days of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), we catch up with young Timothy Wilde, a "Copper Star" in the new police force. He's a proven asset now, an excellent solver of crimes and finder of missing things, and has therefore been relieved of the necessity of walking a beat as a "rounder" in Ward 6. Rather, he is a sort of special "detective" (although that term won't be ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The second installment in Lyndsay Faye's excellently detailed, historically accurate series about the founding of the police force in antebellum NYC is a story about the illegal slave trade and systematic kidnapping of free blacks to be sold to the South for profit.

Having just finished a history of the period (see New York Exposed: The Police Scandal That Shocked the Nation and Launched the Progressive Era ), I am even more impressed with Faye's attention to detail and meticulous research. Us
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
'Seven For A Secret' is good enough to disappoint.

It is clear that the author, Lyndsay Faye, has real talent. The writing is sometimes excellent. Too often, however, it veers into being irritating, overly worked or overly arch.

The idea behind the novel, the way the law was used in the mid-nineteenth century US to return runaway black slaves to the American south and how certain slave catchers were none to fussy about whether they collected freemen or runaways, is an excellent one. Her central po
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Brilliant Historical Crime Fiction

Seven For A Secret by Lyndsay Faye is one of the most atmospheric, historically rich crime thrillers that I have read in a long time, and it is certainly one of the best historical crime novels I have read. In terms of imagery and the use of language it is absolutely spot on for the English usage in New York in the 1840s, of both native New Yorkers. Fortunately for those easily confused there is a selected terminology that criminals used at the time, adapted fro
I found 'Seven For a Secret' available through the Vine Program and thought it sounded like a great story. I soon realized it was the second book in a new series, of course I wanted to read the series in order. So, I picked up the first book 'The Gods of Gotham' and as it turns out I was pleased that 'Seven for a Secret' led me to 'The Gods of Gotham'.

I read 'The Gods of Gotham' immediately before starting 'Seven For a Secret' I thought that would be the best way to keep the characters vivid in
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lyndsay Faye won me over with her novel The Gods of Gotham. A mystery crime thriller set in early New York prior to the Civil War. Seven for a Secret is the second novel in what I hope will be a long series of tales.

The NYPD is only six months old and Copper Star Timothy Wilde is still recovering emotionally from his dealings with the serial child murderer in The Gods of Gotham. He is on shift at the station when a disheveled and distraught beautiful young woman staggers in crying out that she
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I seem to be in the minority among reviewers here, because I liked "Seven for a Secret" better than "Gods of Gotham." I'm giving this four stars (as I did "Gods"), but I'd consider it a 4.2 or something. I think the (near) lack of the Mercy Underhill plotline helped things along for me. Timothy does tend to bumble around making an ass of himself, but he does it in as self-aware a way as possible. I find that quality believable and sympathetic - I'm not sure how one is supposed to become complete ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good sequel that delved into the practice of the time of taking escaped slaves, or freed slaves - and then pretending they weren't freed- from the Northern States of America and returning them to the Southern states for a fee. It is a period of American history I am unfamiliar with and so was quite interesting, and appaulling.
The story further develops Timothy and his brother Val, although the pace was certainly much slower than book one and not quite as enjoyable. Still a ver
Trigger warnings: murder, kidnapping, slavery, racism, suicide, self harm, mentions of having been in a fire.

4.25 stars.

I remember the first book in this series taking me FOREVER to get into, but for some reason with this one I was hooked on the very first page.

It's a pretty heartbreaking story at times, dealing with the way that people of colour were treated in 1840s New York. It covers the white protagonist's realisation of just how bad things are, when people of colour can be kidnapped and
Liz Barnsley
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all thank you so much for the unexpected pleasure of an advanced copy of this novel through my door one day. A bookworms dream…

When I started reading this terrific story , I had two thoughts – firstly I realised that it was a sequel to Gods of Gotham, a book I have had in my peripheral vision for a while but had yet to get around to – and secondly that nothing in the world was going to stop me reading this now, even though my pedantic side would usually have forced me to read Book One
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could more eloquently put into words just how much I adored this novel. It truly came to life in my hands, and I could. not. put. it. down. Faye has a way with prose that is unbelievably engaging, witty, humorous, colorful, and at times, heart-breaking. I think she must have done an intense amount of research to bring to life the horrors of NYC in the late 1800s, the fears of free African Americans as they fought for their already hard-earned freedom, the inhumanity of slave catchers, a ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book. I loved this and the fact that it was historical fiction was an extra bonus. I was taken for a ride. I didn't have to think or question or quiet my pet peeves. It was so enjoyable..........and since I did the audio, I have to say KUDOS to the narrator, Steven Boyer. He did a phenomenal job. I cannot wait to read the other 2 books in this series.

The characters were fun, surprising, and oh so different. I loved that. Valentine and Timothy are brothers and they couldn't be more dif
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really liked this historical mystery. I'm going to have to try the rest of the series. ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is the second in the historical police detective series that began with The Gods of Gotham. It picks up six months after the events of the first book, and continues to follow the career of 28-year-old Timothy Wilde, a member of the newly formed “copper stars,” or New York City Policemen.

The story begins on Valentine’s Day in 1846, when Tim and his colleague Jakob Piest are approached by Lucy Adams, a desperate woman claiming her family has been stolen. She is African-American, though h
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 4-star
Seven for a Secret is great sequel to the Gods of Gotham, although I'm not sure if it's a better book-- some things were better, others not so much.

I really like Timothy Wilde, he's not a perfect man, but he's good enough to care about the underdogs. He spends a little too much time pitying and being a touch too sentimental -- for a man of his time anyway. I do love his relationship with Valentine. He is such a little brother; and their little spats, and fights, can't hide how much they care abo
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So after I finished The Gods of Gotham, I couldn't stop myself from reading book 2 right away because I'm obsessed with Timothy Wilde. Luckily, this book did not disappoint! This installment is just as painstakingly researched, gritty, tense, and well-paced as the first, and now I'm just really sad that there's only one more book to go.

As far as the story, reading this one felt pretty timely, as this mystery focuses on the hideous institution of slavery in the 1840's, with Timothy facing off aga
Kate Sherwood
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Audiobook version - narrator isn't flashy, but toward the end of the book when a character appeared somewhere he had no reason to be, I knew who it was immediately, even before the text identified him, because of the voice the narrator used. Not a caricature, not a weird accent, just a slightly different voice used for that character. Well done, I'd say!

The story itself? I'm giving an extra star for Valentine, a rare example of an alpha-done-right. Tim somehow got stupid and naive between the tw
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book satisfies readers looking for complex characters, an intriguing mystery, a richly drawn setting, and exquisite language. There are such beautiful sentences in this story that made me pause and reread. Normally I don't have time to reread books, but I am tempted to revisit this one.

I thought Gods of Gotham was too slow and kind of dull in moments (even though well done), but Seven for a Secret moved along at a better pace.
May 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
The setting is interesting, and we stay located inside the world. But this is a puppet show. Fine for a beach read (but do wait for the paperback) but otherwise a bit of a toss off in terms of character, depth of mystery, etc. Heavy on the melodrama, and the actual craft - the sentence to sentence writing - is frequently difficult to suffer through.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Disappointed. Timothy was turning into overly sentimental and whiny person. Those love letters were so corny and I am tired of his fascination to Silky Marsh.

This book is about the love triangle spiced up with some mystery. (Or is it love square?)
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
Lyndsay Faye...if you write any book, I will read it!
This book is even better than the first. I am crazy in love with Timothy...and Valentine, but mostly Timothy.
He is so absolutely honest in his thoughts, and filled with such integrity and loyalty that I want to hug him and smother him with love.
His relationship with others and his insight is absolutely spectacular.
(I keep forgetting he's a fictional character).
I am actually terrified to read the next book, because if something happens to any
I just should stop buying books on a whim that I wasn't planning on getting. I read a few pages in the bookstore and really liked the writing style, especially the humor, and was under the impression that this really wanted to utilize the time period it is set it.
I was wrong about that. My biggest problem with the book is that the characters, especially the good guys, feel like they're from our century: they talk like modern people, they have moral codes like modern people... If you don't mind t
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The second Timothy Wilde mystery is the middle book in a trilogy and an examination of the threats to free blacks living in New York City, and by extension, anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. When a free black woman rushes into police headquarters at the Tombs in 1846, claiming her son and her sister were kidnapped by slave hunters from the south, Copper Star Timothy Wilde takes the case, and becomes embroiled in a complex, heartbreaking case that earns him the wrong kind of attention from ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book 1: 4*
Book 2: 4*

Another really good period piece mystery. Much more around slavery in this one.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I started this book directly after reading the first one, and it is just as good. While immigration provided the central tension in the first book, here Faye is dealing mostly with slavery and racism in the years shortly before the Civil War. Timothy Wilde, settling into his role as police detective, is brought in on a new case when a woman bursts into his office to report that her sister and son have been kidnapped by slave catchers. As in "Gods of Gotham" it can be uncomfortable to read about ...more
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Other books in the series

Timothy Wilde (3 books)
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