Awarded three stars on Goodreads, but 3+ stars is probably more accurate.
Using known facts about the real 1930 disappearance of Judge Joseph Force Crater (revealed by the author in her AFTERWORD – but Do Not Read this afterword until you finish the book!), Lawhon spins an interesting mystery of what MIGHT have happened to the Judge.
The book jumps around in time, offering bits and pieces of conjecture, and doesn’t get wrapped up until the last page. That sounds like an exciting structure though I found it a bit disjointed and annoying, having to continually track the dates of each chapter.
What I liked best is that the book is a true “period” piece, portraying the New York City 1930’s interconnected world of gangsters, Tammany Hall, showgirls, and cops.
You get a good feel for the distinctions in how Crater’s wife, maid, and mistress would likely have been treated during the investigation into his disappearance. And the fictional story Lawhon offers has an ironic feminist take.
More about the author, Ariel Lawhon.