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The Wicked City

(The Wicked City #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  7,411 ratings  ·  916 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.

When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impu
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by William Morrow
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William Wehrmacher The two stories are chiefly linked by the common apartment. I think that Ms. Williams intentionally left sufficient loose ends so she could hook them …moreThe two stories are chiefly linked by the common apartment. I think that Ms. Williams intentionally left sufficient loose ends so she could hook them into a sequel. I hope so.

I don't think it is important to delve into the ghost story possibility, while it might be something new, she does touch some definite extra worldly situations in Overseas.

I really loved this book and would certainly look forward to another, although, I look for all Ms. William's books. (less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am a long-time fan of Beatriz Williams' books. She has a unique ability to create feisty and head-strong female protagonists and interweave historical and modern-day story lines. Top this off with witty and flirty banter between the male and female leads and her books (a la old Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedies) and it's usually one fun romp. Unfortunately this new series fell quite a bit short from her previous works.

"The Wicked City" is the first in a proposed new series of books featuring
Cindy Burnett
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
The Wicked City is the first installment in a fabulous new series by Beatriz Williams. The story takes place on a dual timeline – in 1924 and in 1998. The plot is complicated so I will not retell the entire story here. While I liked both story lines a lot, my favorite was the Jazz Age 1920’s plot. Geneva Kelly is highly entertaining, and Williams includes so many twists and turns, none of which I predicted. I love when a tale can surprise me like that! I also learned a ton about the Jazz Age and ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just started reading this and noticed it is rated 1 star. Then I noticed only 1 person has reviewed it so far (no actual review, just a star) , and they are a newbie to GR and have given many books 1 star. So until I finish this, I am rating it 5 stars to balance out the one shady person who gave it 1 star.
Jessica Jeffers
So, some spoilers for this book lay ahead. And a very, very mild spoiler for a couple of Williams’ previous books.

I reeeeaaaallly wanted to love The Wicked City, and despite a few narrative flaws (a handful of historical anachronisms, some important action happening off-page and being revealed—after the fact—only through dialogue), I was fully prepared to do just that because it was so goshdarn fun to read. Beatriz Williams knows how to write fun, soapish historical fiction that’s unexpected an
Alayne Emmett
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was brilliant, so different to other books I’ve read. I’ve read only one or two of Beatrix Williams books as they are so difficult to get hold off over here but when I saw this and the next one in the series on Amazon, I couldn’t resist. I’m glad I did as it is the sort of book which keeps you interested although it’s not fast and thrilling it goes along gently and suddenly you are on the last page.
Apparently there is a third one is this particular series so I will be looking out for t
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars

This novels follows two different MCs.

There's Ella Hawthorne, in 1998, who just moved out of her apartment she shares with her husband Patrick when she catches him cheating on her. Within her first week, she meets Hector, a new neighbor to her, who warns her of the strange noises coming out of the basement late at night.

Then there's Geneva Kelly, also called Ginger and Gin. It's 1924, and she gets caught up in a raid at a speakeasy known as the Christopher Club. It's then that she meets O
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams is a great start to what I think is going to be a great series. Fully immersive, it takes you back to Prohibition through the eyes of a woman named Ginger, and it also ties together with the present and a woman named Ella.

The Wicked City was unexpectedly violent and disturbing, but amazing at the same time. I really liked both Ginger and Ella and listening to this on audio was quite the experience. I loved the narrator for Ginger, her accent was s
Ange H
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
CHEKHOV’S GUN. We’ve all heard of it. “If you introduce a gun (or a mysterious box of buttons and a haunted speakeasy) in the beginning of the story, it must be fired (or their significance needs to be explained) by the end.”

ANGE’S RULE. I just made it up. When you choose the “told in alternate chapters by two different characters at separate times in history” format for your novel, then at the end some sort of relationship between these two characters should be revealed.

The Wicked City by Beatr
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
The Wicked City has a dual timeline story, in the 1920s do we meet Gin Kelly a flapper who frequently visits the Christopher Club until the club is raided and she got an "offer" she can't refuse from Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson who is after her step-daddy Duke Kelly, an infamous bootlegger. Several decades later has Ella Hawthorne moved into the house the Christopher Club used to be housed. At night strange noises can be heard from the basement, clinking classes, jazz piano voices ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beatriz Williams continues to delight me and keep me in awe, both as a reader and writer. While not all her novels have the same level of plot (though none lack for it) her command of her narrators' voices is unparalleled. How she does it is a marvel to me.

In THE WICKED CITY, we're swept into a dual timeline story that doesn't have any of the drawbacks the device so often carries. In 1998 New York, Ella makes an inelegant escape from her fractured marriage to rent an apartment in a vintage Villa
The Lit Bitch
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I picked up my first Beatriz Williams book, I was completely engrossed and fell in love with her writing style.

I wasn’t sure that I would like her books and wasn’t excited to read the first one, but I did and when I began, I was completely sucked in and impressed with her ability to tell a story.

So from that point on, she earned a place in my heart as one of my favorite writers.

When this latest book came across my desk for review, I was thrilled because I knew the caliber of writing and sto
I've given this a B+ for both content and narration at AudioGals.

The Wicked City
tells the story of two very different women who live in New York City at very different times. In 1998, Ella Gilbert has just left her husband, and in 1924, Geneva Rose Kelly – known to her friends as Gin or Ginger – is a bright young thing who can be found most evenings at Christopher’s the speakeasy next door to the apartment building where she lives. While I enjoyed both stories, the book isn’t equally split betw
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It was a very fun read about the Prohibition Era and bootleggers. There was also a modern day story being told about Ella who naturally is part of the Schuyler family. I'll let you discover for yourself where she fits in on the family tree....

I loved the ending of the 1920s story. I was worried for a bit but things worked out okay. The ending was honestly pretty stressful but things came out okay. The main characters are now headed to Cocoa Beach, the title of the aut
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
4.5 stars...

I'm a huge Beatriz Williams fan, and thrilled to see this in the library. I, of course, snagged it and quickly started it. I admit it took me a few chapters to get really "into" the story of Gin, but once I did, I couldn't stop reading! Gin's storyline is the historical one, think 1920's and speakeasies, and she has quite a backstory that we learn about as the book progresses. Complicated, scandalous, and resilient are words I'd use to describe her life. The more modern storyline has
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
1.99 on 03/12/17
Beatriz Williams is a favorite author, I love her writing. Another great read!
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

A first marriage, made for the wrong reasons, or because you didn’t have enough experience to judge the merchandise. Like a starter home or a starter car. You trade up.

She’s the kind of woman who carries an air of beauty around her, carefully cultivated, like a waft of rare oil. Delicate and chiseled. Skin as marble in the moonlight.

I realize we old folks aren’t supposed to talk about sex… but believe me, we had it. Lots of it. How do you think this country got so damned crowded
Kierstin Carnahan
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I should preface this with I really do love Beatriz Williams (which is why i gave this 2 stars over one) BUT this is the second book (the first being Along the Infinite Sea) that had the 2 storylines, but NO real connection between the two. Neither of the storylines had a real ending and had way too many loose ends. What was up with the buttons? Why do we care about Ella's cheating husband? I was also a bit annoyed that one storyline was written in first person and the other in 3rd. Also, I don' ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I love Beatriz Williams book's, but this book just didn't keep my interest. I would find myself thinking of other things while reading. And that never happens to me. I think it was a great storyline about prohibition and the jazz scene of the 1920's. Then to the future in the same area 1998 with a women named Ella. It goes back and forth between the 1920's and 1998 but I felt it stayed in the prohibition time so much I would forget what was going on with Ella in 1998 and even why she was importa ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I have read all of Beatriz Williams' books and this is one of my favorites. This novel switches between modern NYC where Ella Gilbert has moved to a new apartment after finding her husband cheating on her and 1924 NYC where Gin Kelly becomes involved in prohibition enforcement that targets her stepfather, a famous Appalachian bootlegger. I love historical fiction novels that switch between time periods. Williams throws in a few characters from her previous novels that makes it fun for her fans, ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wicked City is set mainly in the 1920's with a smaller section of it set in1998. In 1998 we meet Ella - a scion of the Schyler family, recently separated from her husband Patrick after finding him in a very compromising position. She finds herself pulled into some mysterious goings on in the basement laundry - the sound of jazz from a speakeasy at night.

Back in the 1920's we meet Gin - Geneva Kelly, a young woman with a kind of double life, who frequents that speakeasy in New York. It is the tim
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once again Beatriz Williams sweeps us away into another time and place with a storyline full of deception, lies, adultery, jealousy, love, loss, passion and murder.

The story is told from two different perspectives. Gin, a young, strong-minded woman who enjoys her independence and the love of more than one man in New York City in the Roaring Twenties when prohibition, jazz, and speakeasies are the norm. And Ella, an intelligent, inquisitive woman who is determined to move forward after discoverin
Primrose Jess
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book reads like an old TCM movie. I could hear the twang of the times, envision the makeup of the flappers, and picture the smoky atmosphere of a speakeasy gin joint. A delightful way to pass a Sunday afternoon... though you may be tempted to make a libation towards the end.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another remarkable book from Beatriz Williams!
3.5 stars. It took me a while to get into this book. It's the story of two women: Ella, who lives in NYC in 1998, and who just caught her banker husband with another woman in a most compromising position; and Geneva "Gin" Rose, who lives in NYC in 1924, a flapper, good time girl from rural Maryland whose step-father is a big time bootlegger.
Ella leaves her husband and moves into an apartment building with quirky neighbors and a hidden past related to prohibition. Gin gets arrested in a raid in
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Beatriz Williams has taken me to 1920's NYC. I absolutely love this novel about "Gin" Kelly, a modern girl living and working in the wicked city of NYC. Christopher's, a speakeasy where the gin and jazz flow all night, is the hangout for working girls like Gin as well as the rich and fabulous socialites like the Marshall's and Schuylers. Wicked city is an exciting fast paced novel set in a the fascinating world and characters created by Prohibition. ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another captivating book from Beatriz Williams, tying 1924 and 1998 NYC together, not only in the same city, but in the same building. Lots of clever dialogue, smart damsels in distress, bootleggers, speakeasys and suspense. Like reading a "film noir." I highly recommend it. ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another book where Ms. Williams has written unforgettable characters. Can't wait for the next one! I loved the cameos. ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1920s, dnf
When are authors going to stop using sexual assault as a plot device? The use of it in this book was completely unnecessary.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: daniele

The Wicked City
By Beatriz Williams
Author Website:
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.

When sh
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