Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Charlesgate Confidential” as Want to Read:
Charlesgate Confidential
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Charlesgate Confidential

by
4.11  ·  Rating details ·  421 ratings  ·  95 reviews
An ingenious debut-novel unraveling the heist of the century, in 1946, 1986 and present-day Boston

A group of criminals in 1946 pull off the heist of the century, stealing a dozen priceless works of art from a Boston museum. But while the thieves get caught, the art is never found. Forty years later, the last surviving thief gets out of jail and goes hunting for the loot,
...more
Kindle Edition
Published September 18th 2018 by Hard Case Crime
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Charlesgate Confidential, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tim Bezant Funny to see this question here, King just tweeted about the book making me want to at least look into it. Too bad about the audio though, hopefully…moreFunny to see this question here, King just tweeted about the book making me want to at least look into it. Too bad about the audio though, hopefully it will come soon now that he suggested it.(less)
Scott Hi - I'm looking into that possibility now. Hope to have something to report soon.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  421 ratings  ·  95 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Charlesgate Confidential
Kemper
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
If you’re looking for murder and mayhem in temporary lodgings then the Charlesgate should be mentioned along with the Overlook and Bates Motel.

The Charlesgate was once the swankiest hotel in Boston, but by 1946 it’s become a wretched hive of scum and villainy. After a poker night for gangsters gets robbed the guy running the game wants revenge. By 1986 the Charlesgate is student housing for a local college when one of the residents begins looking into the building’s history for a series of
...more
Dave
Pulp, Mystery, Legend, Spirits, & Baseball

Charlesgate Confidential is a tremendous modern-day pulp story that combines fact, fiction, legend, and baseball. Telling the story in three distinct time periods, it tells the story of the Charlesgate, which is probably as well known to many Boston residents as the Green Monster itself.

First built as a turn of the century gilded age upper crust hotel, it later deteriorated into a haven for prostitutes, card sharks, drug addicts, vagabonds, and
...more
SuperWendy
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've seen authors go horribly awry with two dueling timelines, but Von Doviak ups the stakes with his debut novel by giving readers three (yes, THREE!) timelines: 1946, 1986 and 2014. Despite having to read about the Red Sox more than I'd like (Never. I'd like to read about the Red Sox NEVER!), the world-building is top notch and how the author intricately weaves all three timelines together to tell the story of an art heist gone wrong makes for great reading. A book that deserves some award ...more
Eric
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Charlesgate Confidential is a novel spanning many decades and is told in alternating chapters involving three separate, but later tied together, groups of people.

The main theme of the novel involves the locating of a number of expensive paintings stolen during the opening era of the novel after the paintings had been hidden for safekeeping.

A background plot involves the pursuit of a World Series title by the Boston Red Sox through the years and serves as a common thread that ties the
...more
Jennifer Hill
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a page-turner! I was so impressed with Von Doviak's snappy pacing and time swapping throughout the telling. The characters and dialogue are A+! It read like a movie within a movie within a movie. Cinematic writing, impeccable storytelling, interesting characters, a creepy building, twists and turns. It's got it all! When you read it, you're settling in to a literary experience with an entertaining punch.
Robert Intriago
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, action
A fun read with a lot of historical facts about Boston and the 1986 AL baseball’s series between Boston and L.A. including the error by Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series. The story is told in three different time periods and each chapter represents either 1947, 1986 or 2014. The plot involves a fictitious heist that took place in 1946 at the Isabelle Stewart museum (the same museum that was robbed in 1990). The setting for the event is the Charlesgate Hotel which through out its history has ...more
Mike
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is another rollicking good book under the Hard Case Crime label. I have liked nearly all of the books that I have read that have been sold under this label. They are not great pieces of literature, but they are definitely fun to read. This story has a rather complex format. It is told in three distinct time periods. Von Doviak does a great job. My own college career slightly predates the time period in this book, but the author's rendition is very accurate based on my own experiences.

I
...more
David Putnam
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sorry didn't like this one. I really wanted to like it I loved the premise. There are three plot lines which is a dangerous undertaking for any author. Each time the author shifts to another plot line he risks dumping the reader out of the story which is what happened to me. I loved one plot line, thought another was okay, and third I didn't care for at all. So overall there wasn't enough to hold me in the story. Also, the voice seemed to be the same in all three.

David Putnam author of The Bruno
...more
Martin
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Definitely one of the better Hard Case titles I’ve read.
Merry
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star
A really intriguing fun read with an art heist as the basis for the many murders that ensue, all very expertly woven together in three different decades over a period of 70 years. The Charlesgate, once a swanky hotel, later turned into student housing after it had fallen into a terrible state of disrepair, then into expensive condominiums, is the primary setting throughout the story. Just an all-round good mystery. Definitely recommend!
Amy Osborne
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlesgate Confidential is a wonderful, darkly funny and intriguing take on the Isabella Stewart Gardner art heist, told through three very specifically rendered time-frames. The multiple eras made for a compelling read and, being a 30-year Boston resident, it was especially juicy experiencing the town through the eyes of our protagonist, Tommy Donnelly in 1986. I felt like I was in long-defunct Pizza Pad, the Rat and other Boston haunts all over again. I also was drawn into the criminal ...more
Janet O'Keefe
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know it's a cliche, but this was incredibly hard to put down. I don't often read before bed, but I found myself staying up night after night to finish. I just had to know what happened to the paintings.
John Roadman
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book it was really amazing. Just happened to see this in the new section at the library it was so good. Definlty 5 stars!!
Jr
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
fun, light read, especially the authors use of alternating time periods to tell the story.
Paul
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charlesgate Confidential is a hard to put down page turner. The story told across three time periods is packed with all the good stuff: history, whodunit, treasure hunts, murder and baseball. Highly recommend this first novel from Mr. Von Doviak and even though the Socks don't win the 86 Series (again!) the well crafted writing, witty and realistic dialogue and a dorm full of interesting characters make you believe that anything is possible!
Boris Feldman
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Outstanding Boston noir, with three linked stories over 70 years. 4.5, but rounding down as a protest against grade inflation.
Brian
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended for anyone who enjoys page-turner mysteries. An engaging caper story with great dialog and characterization. Bonus points for creative use of the 1986 world series as a backdrop. I could imagine a really great movie being made from this.
Peter Nowakowski
this book was a real fun read...so entertaining ........... so good ........... like eating ice cream and candy
Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
Whatever doubts I had about Scott Von Doviak’s wonderful debut novel disappeared within the first page or so. More often than not, one expects the indispensable Hard Case Crime imprint to feature books written several decades ago that either have never seen the light of day or were published in low print runs and written by masters of the hard-boiled detective craft under pseudonyms. CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL is brand spanking new, but earns its place on the Hard Case Crime shelf --- make that ...more
Craig Childs
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In 1946, a small-time mobster's weekly poker game at the Charlesgate Hotel is robbed by a trio of brave but not-too-bright criminals, which sets off a chain of murderous events that culminates in a botched art heist dubbed the greatest crime in Boston history…

In 1986 a college journalism major, now living in Emerson University's Charlesgate dormitory , is researching the history of the building. He is looking for ghost stories, but he stumbles across new evidence of mob-related killings that
...more
Jennifer Woodward
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Just finished the book which I bought for the public library I work at on Cape Cod, where Boston-based mysteries with the '86 Sox season and a Gardna museum heist are a must-buy. My personal interest is I was in the Fenway/Back Bay area at the same time and age as this author and I also got to go back in personal time along with the characters in the book.

In short - the story is excellent, fast-moving, realistic and fun, despite the high body count. While it takes a bit to get into the 3
...more
Tom
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a Holiday book swap gift from the Fidler clan and I really tore through it and loved it. It's a loosely historical noir riff on the Gardener art heist in Boston. The book takes place on three timelines 1946, 1986, and 2014 - three different eras of the Charlesgate Hotel in Boston. The characters across the timelines were all fun, but what I really loved was how the Charlesgate resonated as a Shoreland (my dorm at UChicago) type place. The 1986 timeline of this book occurred when the ...more
Stephen Lewis
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book so nice I read it twice.

I knew Scott von Doviak's writing from some of his non-fiction books. I loved the one on the history of the Terminator movies and his book on movies based on Stephen King books. His non-fiction is informative with a easy flow and a surprising amount of humor.

This debut novel is awesome. It's noir; if you mind violence then this isn't for you. He interweaves 3 time lines artfully. I wasn't sure it would work but by keeping the chapters short (2 to 5 pages mostly)
...more
Dave
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the Hell out of this book.
A entertaining mystery set in Boston, using a real life unsolved art theft for it's basis.
This story is set in 3 decades. 1946, 1986, and 2014. Each chapter is set in one of those years.
Other than one character in 1946 mentioning a 'Post game show' (a term I doubt existed in 1946) the writer catches the feel of the time frames well.
The book kept me interested and guessing till the end.
Worth a read!
Katherine
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun reimagining of the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist set in the age of gangsters and the mob told from the point of view of a former student who lived in the building where the paintings were supposed to have been stashed. This is, of course, all fiction but it is a great read and keeps you turning the pages. Hard Case Crime publishes some really good hard-boiled crime reads and this is no exception. Let’s hope Scott Von Doviak writes another book like this one.
Edward Smith
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Story

Fictionalized account of the infamous Gardner Museum Robbery.

Von Doviak moves the dates from the 1980's when the robbery actually occurred to 1946 and he feeds the story to us over three periods of Time: 1946 when the Crime Occurs, 1986 when it was a dorm for Emerson University and piqued the interest of a Journalism Major working for the School Newspaper and 2014 when a new series of crimes and murders take place.

The story centers around the Charlesgate Hotel, an actual hotel/ flop
...more
Melanie Guerra
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I completely surprise myself by saying this, because it is definitely not my typical genre, but it’s an exciting, fun, twisty thrill of a fictional telling of an actual event and actual places. I, too, had the privilege of living in Charlesgate, and love the fact that this book continues to add to its incredible lore, history and speculation. The Charlesgate will never be the way it was, but it’s legends do live on, and this one pulls some of them together and creates a new ...more
Philip
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to do the multiple-timelines thing well, especially within the tight confines of a mystery novel, but Von Doviak does it very well indeed. He even manages to incorporate a significant amount of baseball without making a non-sports-loving reader give up or hurl the book across the room. Fans of Boston-set crime fiction should definitely add this to their shelf next to Lehane and Higgins.
Jason Furman
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, novel, crime
An enjoyable noir crime novel steeped in Boston with scenes that alternate between 1946, 1986, and 2014 much of it set in or revolving around the same building, the Charlesgate and steeped in Boston, with large doses of the Red Sox.

In 1946 the Charlesgate, which had been one of the finest luxury hotels in America, is the home of lowlifes and prostitutes. A poker game run by and for gangsters is robbed. In 1986 the Charlesgate is an Emerson College dorm inhabited by a bunch of college students
...more
Tj
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
really dug this book, especially the fictionalized version of the Gardner Museum heist.
always a tricky proposition when you have multiple timelines juggling in a story. and this had three different ones, so it was even trickier.
fortunately, the book was compelling and jumping around led some fun to the stories. the most current storyline was definitely the least engaging of all, but was still well integrated overall.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Brothers Keepers
  • Blood Sugar
  • So Many Doors
  • Killing Quarry
  • The Count of Nine
  • The Cocktail Waitress
  • The Last Quarry (Quarry #7)
  • The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes
  • Help, I Am Being Held Prisoner
  • Quarry in the Middle (Quarry #9)
  • Sinner Man
  • Understudy for Death
  • The First Quarry (Quarry #8)
  • Quarry (Quarry, #1)
  • Thieves Fall Out (Hard Case Crime)
  • The Triumph of the Spider Monkey
  • Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini
  • November Road
See similar books…
29 followers
I am the author of three books on film and pop culture: Hick Flicks: The Rise and Fall of Redneck Cinema, If You Like The Terminator, and Stephen King Films FAQ. I have been a freelance writer for two decades, spending eight years as a film critic for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, followed by a stint as film critic for Nerve. I have been writing about television for The Onion's AV Club since 2010. ...more
“The problem is, you’re always the leading man in your mind. In real life, you may wake up to find out you’re just an extra.” 0 likes
More quotes…