When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah disagrees. So does the woman's own mother, an Irishwoman who spreads the story that the girl was murdered by her Italian in-laws, the Ruoccos - an accusation that inflames tensions between the two immigrant groups. The situation escalates when a second death in the tenements nearly leads to riots in the streets as political factions and organized crime take sides and square off over wild rumors and newspaper accusations. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy realizes that he will need Sarah's help to unravel the secrets of these troubled families, bring a killer to justice, and restore order to the volatile community.
©2006 Victoria Thompson (P)2016 Tantor
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"A tiny bit disappointing"
I have believed that this series was getting progressively better with each new book. While this one was still good, I just could not get as enthusiastic about it as some past ones. In this story, Sarah Brandt is called to the Little Italy neighborhood in NYC to deliver a baby. However, the child's birth quickly opens up a family crisis and murder, and Sarah is drawn in, along with her friend Frank Malloy of the police department, in having to try to sort out what has happened.
I will say that this narrator has greatly improved, so that helped the book move along at a good pace. But even that did not make up for what was missing. This book had a lot of good focus on the characters involved in the crime, but there was little--almost no-- interaction with the characters I have come to enjoy in the other books. I especially missed the interactions with Frank's son and mother. The story if a good one--if you have never listened to a book in this series you would not miss much by starting here, at the 8th one. But I guess I'll just say that it was not my favorite in the series. I hope future ones will return to the more usual mix of Sarah and Frank's personal lives mixing in more with the rest of the story.
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