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A Promise of Ruin

(Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery #2)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  48 reviews
To stop the trafficking ring plaguing her city, Dr. Genevieve Summerford must dive into New York’s underworld

In early 1900s New York, the formidable crime syndicate known as the Black Hand has been terrorizing the city's Italian community with bombings and kidnappings. When a young Italian girl is found drowned and sexually defiled, Dr. Genevieve Summerford suspects the o
Paperback, 311 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
"I walked blindly down the sidewalk, reeling from the day's discoveries. Was there no end to the cruelty in the world?"

No matter how much time unravels from the spool of life, some things just never change. This evil has resided in the hearts of the corrupt since the beginning of time much like a depraved force-field that refuses to be consumed by its own flames.

Dr. Genevieve (Genna) Summerford has continually inserted her persistent foot onto ground reserved solely for males. It's the turn of t
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series, "A Deadly Affection". However, I struggled with "A Promise of Ruin". The topic was compelling, but it was poorly executed. I found the first half of the book to be a delightful 5 star read, but things went down hill quickly once the protagonist was captured.

From that point forward, I felt the book not only lost steam, but veered away from the time period it was written. The mystery also had too many side stories and therefore just brushed lightly on
*Source* Edelweiss
*Genre* Mystery, Historical Fiction
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

A Promise of Ruin, by author Cuyler Overholt, is the second installment in the Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery series. This is a series that is set in 1907 New York City. Dr. Genevieve is a specialist in neurology and mental therapy (psychotherapy). She is the first woman to practice in this advanced field, which we now take for granted. Unlike other psychiatrists, Genna specializes in healing the brain, not just the
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of the series and was very happy to see the second one in print. Once again, it is well-written with interesting characters and a solid plot. The author's love for New York and the time period shines through and it is well-researched. Highly recommend this series for those who love turn of the century New York and historical crime. ...more
Terri M.
I first met Dr. Genevieve Summerford on July 31, 2016. When I met her in the pages of A Deadly Affection I became enchanted with her drive to help people, her struggle with classism and her struggle to prevent herself from falling in love, a prospect that rarely ever works in books like this, much to the delight of this reader.

I was looking forward to catching up with Dr. Summerford again this summer between the covers of A Promise of Ruin, the latest mystery in the Summerford Mystery series by
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshare
If Cuyler Overholt were the only author left alive to write historical fiction, she would convert me to the genre, and I would have only a sense of enthusiasm and love for it. This is another remarkable book about pre-World War I New York City. You learn fascinating history, and she immerses you in a plot that remains memorable and satisfying long after you've deleted the book from your reader/player. This book will capture you right at the prologue. In the prologue, you meet Teresa Castoria, a ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the first in the series so was looking forward to reading this the second book. Dr Genevieve Summerford finds herself looking for a young Italian woman who may have been kidnapped after arriving from Italy. This novel is much darker than the first as it deals with women being forced into prostitution. My only negative is that it lost its way 2 thirds of the way in but then it's pulled back to make you want to read a third if it's written. ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this ARC from the publisher at ALA Annual conference.

Dr. Genevieve Summerford is finding her place in turn-of-the-century New York and in a relationship with a former servant, Simon Shaw. A dead body leads to a plea from a young girl that she find a missing immigrant, and that leads to learning much about the seedier parts of life, including the Black Hand, prostitution, and crusaders against venereal disease. This is a mystery a bit in the Victoria Thompson Sarah Brandt vein, perhaps
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize Cuyler Overholt had a second book out in her series. I was pleasantly surprised by the first book and equally enjoyed the second. I will eagerly await a third and hope that many more follow. Great characters, good pacing, interesting historic details, good dialogue and more that a bit if grit and girl power. ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I really loved the first book and I was looking forward to this new story! It must be said that the whole context that the author has chosen is fascinating!

So we find Genevieve ready for new adventures. In fact, as she tries to know exactly what she wants to do with her feelings towards Simon and to understand what she wants, our dear psychiatrist will have to face new problems. The author plunges us into the world of forced prostitution in the Italian commun
4 1/2 stars This book is part of a series but can be read alone, with no problem understanding the characters, their interactions, or the story as it develops.

This is a beautifully written and edited book. Given that this is an advanced reader copy of it, the worst I can say about it is that I found one repeated word. In my estimation, that's remarkable. The words that swirl around in my head about the writing are that it's high quality and precise. There isn't a wasted word. Do have a dictionar
Heather C
While A Deadly Affection (book 1) very much had its roots in the medical field that Genevieve was making inroads into, in A Promise of Ruin it plays second string to the kidnapping and trafficking storyline. Genevieve still attends to her clients and uses the knowledge to help some of the other characters cope with things they are dealing with, but it was not the focus here. Genevieve actually struggles with the fact that her psychiatry practice is not taking off and she is spending more time pr ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
In my review for A Deadly Affection, I commented that I was thoroughly entertained by the main character. I continue my affection for Dr. Genevieve Summerford in this second book, A Promise of Ruin.

Genevieve is a doctor of psychiatry in the early 1900s. So, she's a woman doctor, which is almost unheard of. And her specialty is psychiatry, which is not a very respected specialty, even among male doctors. A Promise of Ruin doesn't focus too much on her role as a physician, but once again, she's in
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Rich in historical detail and atmosphere, and also very emotionally involving. The writing flows smoothly and creates an increasing sense of danger and urgency. I read this after A Deadly Affection, which I highly recommend, but it could be read as a standalone. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Superbly done! I look forward to more of Dr. Genevieve Summerford's adventures. ...more
nikkia neil
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks Edelweiss for this ARC.

Cuyler Overholt cranks up the danger, passion, and fiery wit in the sequel to A Deadly Affection.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
3.5 stars -- Set in early 1900's New York City, A Promise of Ruin is the second book in the Dr Genevieve Summerford historical mystery series. Genna is a young psychologist and continues to struggle to make a name for herself especially since some people think her profession is not something a woman should strive for.

Central to the plot is the plight of Italian immigrants who flooded New York City at the time but the strength of this book is in its historical information and the blatant prejudic
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This was the second book in this series that I have read. I really enjoyed the first book a lot. This one, not so much. I had a really hard time trying to get into the character Dr. Genevieve Summerford this time.

While it did turn out to be a decent read, it just didn't have the ability to keep me focused as I read. I found myself with my thoughts wondering a lot throughout most of the first part of the book. Once it did hit me, it was barely enough to keep me going.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landma
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This excellent mystery series continues, once again brilliantly depicting early twentieth century New York city, from the point of view of a strong, intelligent, woman physician. This particular book centers on the Italian immigrant community and on the illicit sexual slavery trade. Some parts are horrifying, most are deeply moving, and Genevieve's character continues to develop. I also really love the somewhat ambiguous representation of the Tammany political machine. In some ways it seems more ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Dr. Genevieve Summerford captivated me in Attorney Overholt's first novel. I began A Promise of Ruin with such hope. However this novel just grab the way A Deadly Affection, I am sad to say...

Not that this novel is without merit. It starts slow, but once it gets going, it romps along. While not the page-turner Attorney Overholt's first novel was, it does reach a point where the reader has to see how it all works out. I missed the "medical myatery" that was so much a part of the first novel. I a
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected surprise and a riveting mystery. Genevieve continues trying to build her medical practice, but accidentally gets drawn into the mystery of innocent immigrant women who have disappeared from the docks and piers when they disembark from the ships that brought them from Europe. The author does a remarkable job with the accurate descriptions of the city, the people, and the terrible crimes of white slavery that are the center of this mystery. Add the romance that is beginning ...more
Suzy Brookhart
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the second book in the Dr. Genevieve Summerfors Series.
Dr. Summeford is a great, fun, courageous, character who is a doctor of physchology in the late 1800's ; which is very unique. She finds herself involved in another complicated mystey involving the disappearance of an Italian girl coming to marry her fiance in New York.
The mystery gets a bit complicated at times-but very interesting.
I also love the building tension between her and Simon-can't wait for book 3.

A good series for hist
Vicky Vidalaki
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2018
3.5 * “A Promise of Ruin” is a satisfying book, with a plucky heroine and solid characters firmly lodged on the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ side. The plot flows and it picks up towards the climactic end- as it should for books of this particular genre. There is enough historical detail( NYC, first decade of 20th century) to satisfy history buffs and to stimulate curiosity for further reading on this period. The writing is good and the themes of sex trafficking and the plight of vulnerable women are, sadly, ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was better than the first one, but I hate that this author does not spend the time to research her time-period. The protagonist uses the term "white slavery" in an appropriate way for 2018. However, it struck me as wrong, so I did a bit (I stress a bit) of research and the term to mean forced prostitution was not used this way at the turn of the century. There are other language issues in the book that really bother me (anachronisms) that were distracting.

This is not really an author I will
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
As one of my friends noted, this book does have very dark themes. But, like the earlier book in the series, the setting is highly accurate and the story compelling. Genevieve seemed more real this time around as well. She was not so strongly tied to her prior ideas as she had been in the first book. This time, she was able to break down and understand her own motivations as well as what she needed to do.

I don't think this book is for everyone, but I really liked it.

Looking over this review, it's
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am giving this 2.5 stars. I loved the first book of the series but this was a letdown. I felt immediate displacement and disconnection. In this book we don’t get all the psychological components and family drama that won me over in the first book. There was no easy flow here either. The protagonist just seemed to conveniently show up where she was needed to find out answers to the investigation of missing Italian women in the city. The book was fully fleshed out but I checked out early on and ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
at least it was shorter than the first story of this series. Genevieve managed to make some better decisions this time. I hate reading about smart women who make one bad decision after another. I like to read about strong indendant women, tho I realize that women during this time were criticised for being that way. But she's a doctor for goodness sake and she waffles about one thing after another, gets in trouble becuase she makes bad choices. Both book one and two were selections made by the le ...more
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A wonderful edition to the series in this second book. I enjoyed reading this tale. This tells the tale of struggle for women in historical period the book is set in. Plus we have a Dr. Genevieve Summerford a woman that is the main character in this book and is asked to look for another missing Italian woman . This book had a great plot, excellent characters, and great time period. A must read for any and all book lovers everywhere.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A Promise of Ruin is set in NYC at the turn of the 19th century that explores the white slavery trade of newly landed immigrants. Scary at times but there's long stretches of lacklustre details of the existence of a social class system, the Italian mafia/crime in America as well as a tepid romance.
Not as good as her 1st novel but decent writing kept me engaged until the end.
This Promise gets 3.5 stars.
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
In the early 1900's, New York City was dealing with a large population of immigrants many of which were single women coming to this country to marry their love or to find a better live. The sex slave traders were very eager to prey upon these women and sell them into the sex slave trade. Dr. Genevieve Summerford was their champion and fought very hard to crack on of the sex slave trade rings along with the New York City police department. In the process, she found the love of her life. ...more
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Cuyler Overholt worked as a lawyer and a freelance business writer before turning to fiction. A Deadly Affection, her debut novel and the first book in the Dr. Genevieve Summerford mystery series, won the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award for best mystery and was shortlisted for the Strand Critics Award for best first novel. A Promise of Ruin is the second book in the series.

Cuyler shares a

Other books in the series

Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery (2 books)
  • A Deadly Affection (Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery #1)

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