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Hudson's Kill: A Justice Flanagan Thriller

(Justice Flanagan #2)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Set in 1803 New York, Hudson's Kill is the riveting next historical thriller from NPR reporter and producer Paddy Hirsch.

New York in 1803 is rife with tension as the city expands, and whoever knows where the city will build can control it. And violence builds as a mysterious provocateur pits the city's black and Irish gangs against each other.

When a young bla
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Forge
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take a walk through the tense and seamy underbelly of New York City 1803, mingle amidst the Black, Irish, and Nativist gangs, all fighting for control of this expanding city - a place where lack of sanitation means cholera outbreaks are a regular occurrence, and where treachery, political conspiracy and violence are just a part of daily life.

In a dark and filthy alleyway frequented by prostitutes, and used by men with a belly full of beer who wish to relieve themselves, a young black
I loved The Devil’s Half-Mile, the first book in the series, and in Hudson’s Killthe author once again transports the reader to the powder keg that is New York in 1803, where gangs and other power brokers are seeking to stake their claims to areas of the rapidly expanding city.

The author brilliantly conjures up the sights, sounds and smells of early nineteenth century New York. Aptly described as ‘a dangerous place to live’, the city is overcrowded, many of its inhabitants are prey t
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was unsure at first as to whether I would like this book. The cover of the book did not initially grab my attention, but as the saying goes, 'you should never judge a book by its cover' as I found out, because when reading, it certainly kept me wanting to turn the page. It was action packed and full of twists.

I have not read a book by this author before, and I felt that this was very well written and researched, highlighting many issues in New York in the 19th Century. The writing was so desc
3 no 7
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Hudson’s Kill” by Paddy Hirsch is set in 1803, New York City, and chapters are conveniently identified by day to facilitate continuity. The crush of people make New York a dangerous place to live, and as more people arrive, more people die. Mistrust is rampant, and overt religious discrimination is everywhere in every section of society. The story is conversation driven in the vernacular of the time and immerses readers into that place and time.
Hirsch’s vivid descriptions set the stage. “A bla
Alayne Emmett
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was an easy read and I loved the descriptions the author writes in this book. I could see in my minds eye the awful conditions and the dark streets of New York. This is a second in a series but it didn’t matter. My thanks to Readersfirst for this book in return for an honest review.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New York, in 1803, is a city filled with tension, as black and Irish gangs fight for control on the streets. Violence is never far away.
When a young girl is found murdered in an alleyway, Marshal Justy Flanagan undertakes the difficult search for the killer, before the mob takes the law into their own hands.
Kerry O'Toole, Justy's friend and ally, was the one who found the murdered girl. The killing haunts her and she decides to look into the murder herself to find out the truth behin
3.5 Stars

I have not read the first of the Justy Flanagan series, The Devil's Half Mile, but I am happy to report that did not spoil this book for me. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of re-capping that tale either and there is enough information given about the characters that you can get to know them through this book without having read the first. Overall a win-win, if you have read the first you don't have swathes of text to skim through that are covering the first book a
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We begin this story following a young lady called Kerry O'toole, as she is walking along the dark streets of New York in 1803. During this evening she discovers a girl has been murdered, holding on to her last breath until Kerry finds her. Throughout the book we are trying to figure out who the murderer is and why they have killed this innocent young girl.

I didn't realise this book was part of a series until I looked into more of the authors books. In the previous book I believe som
Angie Rhodes
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Set in 19th Century New York, Hudson's Kill, is a gritty crime novel, that will have the reader thinking of Peaky Blinders and Murdoch Mysteries, (though a little darker ) where black and irish gangs fight for control of the streets, and when.a young girl is found dying in a dirty alleyway, things take a turn for the worse.
Marshal Justy Flanagan needs to find the killer, before the lynch mob do, with his friend Kerry O'Toole decides to do her own investigation, she soon realises there is m
Angela L
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book's predecessor, The Devil's Half Mile, and this instalment brings more of the non stop action as it hurtles through life in New York in 1803.
Once again, our main characters are Justice (Justy) Flanaghan and Kerry O'Toole. This time they are working "together" to solve a murder - after Kerry finds an almost dead young girl slashed in an alleyway. However she looks well kept, well clothed and clean - not your average victim of the time.
Their investigations
Rachel Hall
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing, atmospheric, informative and accessible historical fiction set in 1800’s New York.

Hudson’s Kill is the second novel in the Justice “Justy” Flanagan series set in New York around the turn of the nineteenth century and having not read the first, The Devil’s Half Mile, I approached this book without knowing the background or the protagonist. I can comfortably confirm that this didn’t prove a hindrance to my understanding and entertainment from a rousing story and a meeting with Just
Alfred Nobile
My first read by this author and what a read it is! A gritty crime read. It conjures the sights and smells of New York in 1803. A city where violence rules and life is cheap; especially if your female.
Kerry O'Toole finds a young girl dying in a putrid alleyway which prostitutes frequent and men relieve themselves. She informs the city watch and they inform the Marshall who starts an investigation.

In a city where gangs fight for control of the streets; where life is cheap and corruption is rife
Donna Hines
It's New York in 1803 a time of great peril when everyone is fighting for a piece of this expanding city.
A young black girl turns up dead in an alleyway known for prostitution.
Why has nobody come to claim the body of this young girl (13 -14yo)?
The investigation leads to a high wall compound that inhabitants want to keep hidden. But why?
What are they hiding behind those walls?
Justy and Kerry have one dangerous investigation to contend with and one that will surely ta
Tammy Tudor
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Takes you back in time

I am a huge fan of this genre of historical fiction so when the time came to read this book I was so excited as from first impression it sounded great and I was not disappointed at all! You can tell such thought and certainly research has gone into the story to ensure that the reader is truly transported back in time and I can say I was - I felt part of all the drama and mystery!

It is well written and gives an insight into historical societal issues that in fact we are st
Miss A
An excellent read! The content of Hudson's Kill is grotesquely descriptive and perhaps not for the faint of heart, but for lovers of mystery and intrigue it promises a fascinating well researched read. The history appears, well-studied, accurate and uncensored, a rare trait of much historical fiction. The language used throughout sections of speech is often appropriate to the time period and the book even includes a useful glossary at the back to help readers with some of the more obscure terms. ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy from Readers First in exchange for an honest review.

I was a fan from the previous book so i had some preconceptions going in that were more than met. If anything i found this to be even more enjoyble than the first book, perhaps as it has less of the backstories than the first one did so it can concentrate more on the action at hand. That doesn't mean to say any new readers are coming into this blind, there is some brief backstory for most of the main character
Hudson’s Kill is a historical thriller, set in the early 1800’s.
Full of political intrigue, racial tension, conspiracy and violence, the author recreates the dark and gritty underbelly of New York. As the population continues to grow and the city is forced to expand, a deadly battle for land is inevitable. Gangs fight for supremacy whilst the poor fight to survive.

Hudson’s Kill was a great read. Although I’m not usually a fan of a lot of historical fiction, this was a definite exception. The b
Kathleen Gray
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic atmospherics and a good mystery make this a very good read. Kerry O'Toole, now a school teacher, finds the body of a young black girl in the mud. It's 1803 New York City- a gritty dark and difficult time for anyone, much less someone like Kerry. She luckily can call on Justy Flanagan, now a Marshal, to figure out what happened. It's not actually surprising that no one was looking for this girl- they might have been but times- and communications- were different then. What is surprising ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set at the turn of the 19th century, in New York; this is a mystery, crime thriller read which begins with the gruesome discovery of a young girl’s body.

This is the second book in the series, and despite not having read the first, I had a great time reading this; I loved being transported in time, to a growing city full of issues and angst. It’s really well researched and executed. I’ll definitely be getting book one soon.
A myriad of contrasting and engaging characters; a deeply immersive sett
Cat Spearey
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a historical thriller set in New York in the 1800s I wasn't sure what I was expecting especially as I hadn't read the first novel with these characters but Paddy Hirsch sets an exceptional scene. I could picture every scene clearly and I could hear the characters American and Irish drawls clear as day in my head while I was reading. I will say one thing - I found the lingo difficult in places as I often had to refer to the translation listings in the back of the book to tell me what some of t ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder and Conspiracies

I really enjoyed this period tale of murder, mystery and conspiracy. The book is well written, and the author appears to have done a lot of research - there is even a glossary at the back.
The story is set in New York in 1803 and opens with Kerry O'Toole discovering a girl who has been brutally attacked. Her friend, Marshall Justice Flanagan is alerted and starts to investigate. His inquiries take him from one end of the social divide to the other, and ev
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not usually a fan of historical thrillers but Paddy Hirsch has got a winning formula for an entertaining novel. This, his second book in the series is better than the first.
It’s set in New York in 1803 where the hero Justy Flanagan is a Marshal (an early policeman). The rapidly growing city has immigrants coming in from all over setting up enclaves and Black and Irish gangs fighting violently for control of limited space.
Justy’s friend Kerry O’Toole discovers a dying girl and sh
James Koppert
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have seen Gangs of New York then you know the period this novel is set. This book is completely immersive, Hirsch has done an incredible amount of research, to the language used, the the style of buildings. I often felt myself drawn into the period, even dreaming about the city in my sleep, his descriptions become so vivid. Hudson's Kill has pretty much got a bit of everything for everyone. It's a thriller, it's a murder mystery, it's a political and corruption rollercoaster, it's full of ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I’m not one for historical fiction however the setting of this in New York in the early nineteenth century is quite fascinating as it really makes you think about how this incredible city came to be. The variety of nationalities and the turf wars really set the scene well for a murder mystery as the complex splits and integrations between the groups provide a realistic challenge of collecting evidence, witnesses and knowing just who to trust. This is really well written and places the reader in
Rebecca Wright
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely great example of modern historical fiction. The character of Justy is one with a rare depth and is a character that I like at times and dislike at others - just as a great character should be.

WhilstI really did enjoy this (and the writing style was up there with the better works of historical fiction) I was a bit confused...

I accept this was largely my own doing, owing to the fact that I did not realise this novel was a sequel.

It still worked quite well on its own, but I
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 19th century New York the author describes the scene and time well making it easy to put yourself there and immerse yourself fully in the action.

I found the two main characters well rounded and likeable. I found myself rooting for them despite being at odds with some of their actions. At times I found it a little tricky to keep abreast of the secondary characters but this did not stop me following the storyline. My favourite character is Hardluck - although seemingly minor following his
Patricia Pimenta
Set in New York in the early 19th century, this is a brilliant crime novel. And this is not my particular favourite kind of book. Well written, intelligent, and a tribute to the good old crime novels. My expectations were high and I didn't get disappointed. I could write a powerful review, but that would been giving away spoilers and this is too good to spoil. The main theme is dark and powerful and even though it's set in the past, it's far from being outdated. A game of power, sinister interes ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy historical fiction so when this book I arrived I was so excited. From the first glance it sounded terrific, and the complete book lived up to all my expectations! The author's vast levels of research really do pay off as you absolutely do feel like you’re stepping back in time – it really is that authentic! A city marshal and a teacher are both pursuing a murderer - will they meet and will they ensure justice? It is very nicely written and sheds fascinating light social problems a ...more
John McKenna
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hudson’s Kill establishes Paddy Hirsch in the forefront of current thriller writers with it’s compelling prose and kinetic plot, as well as its dynamic and skillful storytelling that will educate and entertain all whodunnit lovers . . . while leaving them thinking that the next installment of this outstanding series can’t come soon enough !
It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last.
I loved the well researched historical background, the descriptions, the well written and interesting cast of characters.
The plot is gripping and entertaining and kept me hooked.
An excellent reading experience, highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Paddy Hirsch is an author and Murrow award-winning journalist. His first novel is The Devil's Half Mile, an historical thriller with a financial twist, set in New York in 1799.

He is the author of Man vs Markets; Economics Explained, Plain and Simple. Publisher's Weekly called the book " “A straightforward, accessible, and often hilarious overview of our financial and economic systems,

Other books in the series

Justice Flanagan (2 books)
  • The Devil's Half Mile