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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 organization has expanded into forced prostitution, and she won't rest until the trafficking ring is brought to justice.

311 pages, Paperback

First published August 8, 2017

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About the author

Cuyler Overholt

2 books147 followers
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 keen interest in human motivation and behavior with her husband, a psychologist, who is still working on perfecting her. When she isn’t reading or writing she can usually be found on a bike, in the cobra pose, or enjoying a good movie.

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5 stars
89 (23%)
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160 (42%)
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103 (27%)
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19 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews
Profile Image for Linda.
1,192 reviews1,243 followers
January 31, 2018
"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 the century and women were a rarity in the medical field. Even more unusual, Genna has pursued a career in psychiatry which supported few females at the time. Female patients in need of care were plentiful, but access to these women was almost impossible in a male dominated world. Male doctors refused to address specific female symptoms and relegated them to the catch-all diagnosis of "hysteria".

The story opens with Dr. Summerford attending an Independence Day celebration at the East River in New York City. The tone of the festivities changes abruptly when the body of a young Italian woman is pulled from the river. Who was she? The condition of her body leads Genna to believe that something more sinister has taken place.

When another Italian woman is reported missing as she arrived at Ellis Island, Genna promises the young woman's friend that she will do everything possible to find her. Her investigation leads her down avenues perhaps shaded by the Black Hand or by local procurers of young women into prostitution. As aforementioned, time passes, but the debased and immoral crime still finds its way into this world's society in an even more devious and sophisticated high-tech manner. The parallels are uncanny with the degenerates still preying upon the innocent.

A Promise of Ruin is the second book in this series, but it can be read as a standalone. Cuyler Overholt has created a very demonstrative female lead who uses her sharp female instincts along with her medical credentials to be of service. Overholt has done some mighty fine research into the budding field of psychiatry and how it relates to the history of the time period. Her character of Genna reflects the uphill climb of women and how it plays out in the uneven ground of class and relationships.

A Promise of Ruin, though a period piece, will give pause as to the state of human corruption played out in modern times. If you get a chance, you may want to reach back and read the first book in this series to follow the journey of Dr. Summerford from its beginnings. A very well-crafted read.
Profile Image for Leona.
1,722 reviews18 followers
May 15, 2018
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 the overall challenges of these poor victims. The author missed an opportunity to keep the reader vested in the story. I would have loved more time with Teresa, her issues, and her journey back. This lack of depth weakened the overall story.

5 stars for the first half, 1 star for the second half, which rounds it to 3 stars overall.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,125 reviews459 followers
August 7, 2017
*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 body. Genevieve is a young woman marked by her past.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*


Profile Image for Carolien.
770 reviews143 followers
May 1, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Terri M..
647 reviews79 followers
November 26, 2018
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 Cuyler Overholt. Genevieve, or maybe by this point I can call her Gennie as Simon does, is full that same fire and determination that won me over in A Deadly Affection.

The topics touched on in A Promise of Ruin may walk a fine line for readers—sex abuse, child abuse and sex trafficking. These are not easy topics to read and Overholt doesn’t shy away from affects of the mental and physical abuse and the cultural implications of the time period which still resonate today. Although I suspect that Overholt just scratched the surface of all that could be touched on in relation to these topics. View Spoiler »

As in book one, the other characters that populate Genevieve’s world are just as real and tenacious as she is. Simon, Genevieve’s love interest, struggles with his own masculinity as Genevieve strives to forward her position and ideas in a world that traditionally does not allow women to be so outspoken. Pauline and Angela, who run a home for ‘fallen’ women, help Genevieve out immensely and show Genevieve she is not alone in trying to make the world a better place. Fo me, it was nice for Genevieve to have a connection with other women bucking tradition as sometimes it feels she is awfully alone in her crusade.

I definitely enjoyed this second installment in the Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery series. Overholt continues to write historical mysteries that resonate into twenty-first century. I can’t wait for my next meeting with Dr. Summerford!

This review was originally posted on Second Run Reviews
Profile Image for 4cats.
872 reviews
November 22, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Kate.
1,118 reviews23 followers
August 6, 2017
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 even derivative but it stands pretty well on its own, although I felt like I was missing something starting with the second volume. I wish I had been spared the annoying book discussion questions, but ARC-readers cannot be choosers. The history isn't as artfully dropped in as I prefer, and I'm not totally sold on the research process - again, this is suffering by comparison to other series. There is a bit more romance feel here than usual but this is decidedly a mystery series and not a romance. I'm not entirely sure how our heroine fixed on the villain being a psychopath so easily...nor (you will excuse me) am I sure that a rapists' victims would really be able to notice that he only had one testicle (perhaps this is a failure of my imagination). Worth borrowing from the library and even keeping up with the series to see if the writing improves as the author builds experience.
Profile Image for Barb.
1,167 reviews126 followers
January 20, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Melliane.
2,013 reviews340 followers
August 18, 2017
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 community of a New York in the 1900s. It is a really interesting and terrible subject especially when we know that it still exists today.

In fact, while she meets with Simon, she attends the draft of a young Italian who seems to have suffered a lot of vices and that is how she meets Rosa who begs her to find one of her friends Italian too, which seems to have disappeared. Intrigued by these events, Genevieve won’t be able to prevent herself from mingling with this sordid story to understand exactly what is going on. But this story is much more complex than she thought, and the slave trade does not particularly like when someone takes a closer look at the business.

I found the story really exciting. I was waiting impatiently to find out what was going to happen. It must be said that our heroine has the chic to end up in compromising situations. This novel is a bit different from the first one but I found that the turn that the author had taken was just as well!

This is not a simple story and it is sad to see what these girls have suffered but I confess that I did not expect at all the culprit of the story. It must be said that we easily follow the hypotheses of Genevieve without ever questioning them!

A very good new novel
Profile Image for Nolan.
2,193 reviews23 followers
January 16, 2021
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 young immigrant from Italy. She has arrived at the famed Ellis Island entrance and is awaiting her beau. Long after all the other immigrants have left with their sponsors, Theresa is still there. Someone calls her name, she enters a carriage, and you won't see her again for several pages.

This is a grim snapshot of early turn-of-the-20th-century New York and the kind of human trafficking that occurred among immigrants. The author points out that inequality for women and trafficking/slavery are part of our landscape a century after this was written. Her message is clear enough and sobering by every measure.

While celebrating Independence Day, Genevieve Summerford learns that Theresa is missing. She sees authorities pull the body of a young Italian immigrant woman from the river on that day, and the scene haunts her and makes her think of the missing Teresa. The mystery deepens as she works at finding out what might have happened to the young woman. Overholt builds plenty of suspense into this, and Genna's life is on the line in a big way at one point.

In the messed-up world inside my head, Genevieve Summerford and Maisie Dobbs would be friends of mine, and I'd like to think they would befriend one another as well. Where solving mysteries is concerned, they are piers. Granted, their mysteries differ greatly from one another, and their ways of solving them differ, but I admire both women immensely to the degree that you can admire fictional women and retain your sanity. For all I know, the comparison of these two women happens more often than either author would like. It's true that neither stands in the other's shadow. If you read Maisie Dobbs, you will be equally captivated and impressed by Genevieve Summerford.
649 reviews20 followers
May 17, 2017
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 dictionary nearby as you read. You will likely find it useful.

This is the fictional story of a young female doctor and how she became involved in helping to discover those behind kidnapping and enslaving young immigrant women into a life of prostitution. It's a great topic, and I learned some things I hadn't know before reading this book. I did think that some of the things that Genna did were more contemporary than historical, and there is a fair degree of predictability in the plot, but there are also some surprises. Still, I enjoyed reading it, more to watch the development of the characters relationships than the story itself. There are a couple of romances involved in the novel, but, to me, they seemed secondary to the bringing to justice of the white slavers. At the end, there is also a dose of religion in relation to one of the characters. It brings about a resolution to a problem, but it's a little too out of the blue and contrived for my taste. Still, I enjoyed this book a great deal.

If you enjoy historical fiction but can suspend disbelief to some degree, I can recommend this book to you.

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. My thanks to the author and publisher for allowing me the chance to read this book prior to publication.
Profile Image for Heather C.
492 reviews79 followers
April 13, 2018
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 providing actual physical medical assistance, which felt very real. While this was something that I enjoyed in the first book, the characters held my rapt attention here and I didn’t miss it.

And oh the characters! I love the Genevieve and Simon back and forth. Their relationship is full of fun banter and tension between them that keeps the reader on their toes. We also get to know more about the retainers in the Summerford household who worry about Genevieve as one of their own; Katey is quite the spitfire and I loved how she helped resolve the mystery. Even the men and boys who are a part of the world Simon moves in were well fleshed out and entertaining. You gotta love those little boys!

There is much more focus on the police investigation (and Genevieve’s meddling in it), but it felt very well set in the time period and not out of place at all. I’m a huge fan of police procedurals and this worked here, although I hope the books to come to not all feature this. I have done some studying of the Black Hand and the Italian Camorra and I enjoyed how these elements were seamlessly woven into the fabric of the story here. Additionally, a lot more of this novel is committed to Genevieve helping those from the lower classes, whereas previously we were more set in the upper class – it was very different.

I really enjoyed spending time with Genevieve and friends again and look forward to seeing where the next book take her – especially in terms of her relationship and her medical profession.

Audiobook Discussion:
My opinions on the narration are very much in line with my thoughts on book 1, as they are both narrated by the same person, Carly Robins. Robins was able to relay the author’s pacing well in this audiobook presentation. There is an interplay between slow or fast reading based on the need of the scene. I appreciated the appropriate pause length between sentences – just the right amount of time. Robbins imbues her Genevieve with an earnestness, but also demonstrates fear or hesitation when appropriate. It certainly feels like she spent some time getting to know the characters before recording the passages. There is some voice work here to make characters unique, and this is one of the few times I have found myself feeling comfortable with a narration of characters of the opposite sex from the narrator. Additionally, I feel that she handled the variety of accents well as we have American, Irish, and Italian among the characters. An admirable job that never felt jarring or out of place.

This review was previously posted at The Maiden's Court blog and a copy of the book was received for review consideration.
Profile Image for Annette.
922 reviews26 followers
August 1, 2017
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 involved in the investigation of a crime, or in this case many crimes. It seems women are being kidnapped as they arrive in this country, expecting to marry their sweetheart. Instead, they are kidnapped and forced into prostitution.

I do like that Genevieve keeps the police in the loop about what she finds out in her investigation. And at least some of the police believe her and try to look into these disappearances. Her relationship with Simon has not progressed, and Genevieve is disappointed that he doesn't seem interested.

She's determined to find out what is going on, and of course, ends up putting herself in harm's way. I did think that A Promise of Ruin took a bit longer to get going, but by the halfway point, I had to finish. I couldn't put it down. I appreciate her determination to find the truth and her manipulation of a society that isn't very conducive to women doing anything of any importance.

Being a fan of historical fiction and mysteries, these books just hit the right spot for me. I know at times Genevieve is a bit lucky, but that's part of the fun. I hope Overholt continues this series because I'm in! If you have teens that enjoy these genres, the Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mysteries Series is totally appropriate for them.
Profile Image for Inga.
171 reviews
November 13, 2021
Ein sehr guter zweiter Teil. Zuerst habe ich mir Sorgen gemacht, wie die Geschichte aus dem ersten Buch erfolgreich weitergeführt werden könnte, aber die hier genutzten Lösungen fand ich passend. Es ist deutlich weniger akademisch, dafür bekommt man mehr Einblicke in die Polizeiarbeit und die detektivischen Handlungen, der Hauptperson. Zudem ist die Handlung nicht nur von der Hauptfigur getrieben sondern sie ist nur ein Teil davon, was hier deutlicher zu sehen ist als im ersten Teil, dies hat aber auch den Effekt, dass sie als passive Person, der Dinge passieren, nicht als Person die Dinge tut, wahrgenommen werden kann. Genna hat einen Job und eine Beziehung (zugegebenermaßen da tauchen Probleme auf), aber es wird kein Drama daraus gemacht. Ihr Partner wird an einer Stelle kurz als der Retter dargestellt, darauf aber direkt ausgeknockt, was mich persönlich sehr gefreut hat, da dieser trope so gebrochen wurde. Absolut lesenswerte Reihe!
Ich würde mich über mehr Bücher der Autorin freuen🙌
Profile Image for Maureen.
705 reviews39 followers
June 19, 2021
For starters, I can’t believe that I read the first book in this series in 2013, it seems like an eternity ago. That one was a four for me, but this one came down a notch. I like the characters still and it was definitely a comforting and interesting read (or listen in my case), but there were multiple climaxes and side stories just kept going more than may have been really necessary. Tightening some of that in the editing process might have made for a more compelling read. All of the things I liked in the first book were still there, strong women, mystery, light romance, NYC setting. The main character however, despite her strength and intelligence, made headstrong/passionate decisions throughout the book that were contrary I think to the training and discipline of being a physician. All that said, the book was a pleasant diversion from both the world and other books that force me to think. I need my diversions!
1 review
August 8, 2017
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!
637 reviews1 follower
February 3, 2023
4 stars in the beginning and 3 stars by the end. But I’m enjoying the characters very much, even though at times Genevieve seems a bit immature, being that she’s a doctor. She makes a few impulsive, reckless decisions.
Profile Image for Deb.
453 reviews4 followers
March 12, 2022
I picked this book up from a favorite book catalog (Daedalus) as I'm trying to find some new authors. I was pleasantly surprised by this story set in New York City near the turn of the 20th century.
Tammany Hall is still in charge of New York City politics and power, but immigration is changing the power dynamics. Italian immigrants are arriving regularly, and with them have come criminal elements, including members of the Camorra, the Italian criminal organization. Recently, Italian women have been stepping off the boats arriving at New York's harbor and disappearing. When one young woman turns up dead in the East River, Dr. Genevieve Summerford becomes involved.
Genna is a witness to the body's discovery, and is accosted by another young woman worried that a friend due to arrive on a recent boat may have also fallen in harm's way. Despite the discouragement of her beau, district politician Simon Shaw, Genna feels compelled to look for the missing woman.
Her search leads her into the Italian Harlem community, and to meeting such real-life figures as contraceptives advocate Emma Goldman (here a thinly disguised Pauline Goldstein), and the NYPD's Italian Legion Detective Lieutenant Petrosino. It also puts her in harm's way as her pursuit of the missing girl exposes her to the men kidnapping countless women into prostitution.
The contrast between Genna's life of upper-class privilege, and the immigrant women she encounters are stark. Yet in the end, Genna finds she is as vulnerable as any woman to sexual violence. How little has changed in a hundred years...
Contains some disturbing scenes of sexual assault. But also entertaining, well-developed characters and a good story rooted in history. Well worth the reading.
Profile Image for Laurie • The Baking Bookworm.
1,372 reviews360 followers
September 4, 2017
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 prejudice against these immigrants. The Blackhand, a group of Italians who prayed on their fellow countrymen with abuse, threats and extortion as well as sex-trafficking, kidnapping, sex abuse etc are important and eye-opening parts of the plot.

One of the aspects that I enjoyed from the first book was a look at the psychiatric profession through the eyes of a woman in the early 20th century. That struggle is focused on less in this book and readers who dive right into this book (which could be read as a standalone) will miss out on much of that important aspect of the series.

The mystery itself was good but lacked the energy of the first book and I felt that the romance between Genna and Simon ran a little lukewarm. While it took me a bit to get back into the characters lives, the plot ramps up with a solid ending. I look forward to more books featuring Dr Summerford.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,751 reviews95 followers
October 4, 2017
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 Landmark and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Profile Image for Jennybeast.
3,389 reviews12 followers
January 5, 2018
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 effective at taking care of the poor than anything we've come up with since, but we've yet to see the trade-offs really come due.
132 reviews
February 21, 2018
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 applaud the author for tackling a tough storyline - sex trafficking and the victimization of women. Well done. I am already looking for to Dr. Summerford's next adventure.
682 reviews
September 22, 2017
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 for Genevieve, and this book is hard to put down.
218 reviews5 followers
October 22, 2017
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 historical fiction/mystery fans.
Profile Image for Vicky Vidalaki.
9 reviews1 follower
February 4, 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, relevant today. An enjoyable book with a heart!
Profile Image for Elaine.
167 reviews
February 5, 2018
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 track down, but I may read other books if they are available at the library.
Profile Image for Nan.
842 reviews74 followers
April 19, 2018
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 entirely too vague. I will have to write another one, when I am better prepared to write.
Profile Image for Jill.
195 reviews
September 15, 2018
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 struggled to finish.
Profile Image for Cathy.
250 reviews
November 12, 2018
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 leader of the book club I belong to, I'm not sure if I'll continue it.
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