3* Review: City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1976, and New York is a city on the edge. As midnight approaches, a blizzard sets in – and an unmistakable sound rings out across Central Park. Gunshots. Two of them.

The search for the shooter will bring together a rich cast of New Yorkers. From the reluctant heirs to one of the city’s greatest fortunes, to a couple of Long Island kids drawn to the nascent punk scene downtown. From the newly arrived and enchanted, to those so sick of the city they want to burn it to the ground. All these lives are connected to one another – and to the life that still clings to that body in the park. Whether they know it or not, they are bound up in the same story – a story where history and revolution, love and art, crime and conspiracy are all packed into a single shell, ready to explode.

Then, on July 13th, 1977, the lights go out in New York City.

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Mystery Thriller My Review

City on Fire

The characters, setting and plot of this story are engaging; unfortunately it is too long for these positives to retain their impact. This book may appeal to the ‘one book a year reader’ but not someone, who reads for escapism and variety.
I really wanted to like this book, as I grew up in the seventies. I love reading about different reactions and actions to a memorable incident but there were so many superfluous details in this story, the ethos and vintage quality of it got lost.

Reviewing a book is a subjective thing and once again the opinions of those who influence book purchases, are not necessarily those of the readers who buy the books, on their recommendation.
I received a copy of this book from Vintage, Penguin Random House Jonathan Cape via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

Garth Risk Hallberg

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