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Gilded Needles Audiobook

Gilded Needles

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the Black Triangle, New York's decadent district of opium dens, gambling casinos, drunken sailors, gaudy hookers, and back-room abortions. The queen of this unsavory neighborhood is Black Lena Shanks, whose family leads a ring of female criminals - women skilled in the art of cruelty.

Only a few blocks away, amidst the elegant mansions and lily-white reputations of Gramercy Park and Washington Square, lives Judge James Stallworth. On a crusade to crush Lena's evil empire, the judge has sentenced three of her family members to death. And now she wants revenge.

One Sunday, all the Stallworths receive invitations - to their own funerals. Can even the wealth and power of the Stallworth family protect them from Lena's diabolical lust for vengeance?

This first-ever republication of Michael McDowell's chilling classic of revenge features a new introduction by Christopher Fowler and cover art by Mike Mignola.

©2016 Michael McDowell (P)2017 Valancourt Books

What the Critics Say

"Riveting, terrifying, and just absolutely great...Michael McDowell must now be regarded as the finest writer of paperback originals in America." (Stephen King)

"One of the best writers of horror in this country." (Peter Straub)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (6 )
5 star
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4 star
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Overall
4.3 (6 )
5 star
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4 star
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Story
4.8 (6 )
5 star
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Performance
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    Zoot 28/08/2017
    Zoot 28/08/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    26
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The story is in the blurb"

    I was a little disappointed that the blurb basically tells the entire story of the book – it’s not a prelude, it’s literally a full summary of the entire story. This kind of ruined the book for me, making it seem predictable and hollow. This is a real shame because the story itself was really good and well written. I’m sure it would have been much more enjoyable without the pre-expectations, adding a bit of suspense. Thankfully, R. C. Bray’s excellent narration is always a wonder to listen to and that really helped a lot, saving the experience from total disappointment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • CJ Matthews
    Florida
    09/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Definitely dark, but engrossing."
    Any additional comments?

    I read this book because R.C. Bray is the narrator and for no other reason and I am glad that I did. This is not my typical type of book, so I am glad that I ventured out a little from my listening comfort zone. This book isn't a murder mystery or who done it or anything other than a story being told to you and I liked that. It is very dark and you will really dislike some of the characters, but that made it even better. Instead of rooting for the hero like in most books, I found myself rooting against the socialites. The author did a fantastic job at describing each person and each scene and painted me a picture in my head of how the city looked and I could actually imagine watching this instead of just listening. Few authors have done this for me. The story itself wasn't the greatest that I have ever heard, but his style along with the narration made this a very easy listen that kept me interested from start to finish. The story had no real hero and no real twists, but it is very entertaining and maybe it's just the comfort of listening to R.C. Bray, but it seemed much more than that. You will have to listen to understand or maybe it's me that is just understanding, but I will look for more books like this when I want to take a break from my normal science fiction/fantasy books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Marcheta
    Virginia Beach, VA, United States
    28/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This would make a great movie"

    Great writing, intriguing characters, and a cringe-worthy retribution plot. I loved it! I'm checking if Michael McDowell (author) & R.C. Bray (reader) have any other books on audible.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Melissa and Josh
    USA
    02/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A tale of a plot with an unintended consequence"

    *** SPOILER ALERT ***

    Let me preface this review up front by stating this is not a tale I would typically search for (not one of my genres of choice). I stumbled upon this book as it was narrated and recommended by R.C. Bray through his Facebook page. Bray also narrated Michael McDowell’s other novel “The Elementals”. Needless to say, as I was a fan of the first novel and I am also a huge fan of Bray’s, I gave this one a shot.

    The book takes place in the mid-1800s and tells a tale that, as much as I would like to believe the opposite, probably still holds a strong basis in reality today. The Stallworth family, led by the Judge himself, holds a key role in the city while the Shanks family pursue multiple criminal endeavors from illegal abortion to the pawning of stolen merchandise in a lower end of town.

    Judge Stallworth presents an opportunity to boost the name of his firm while setting up a chance to ensure a future role for his close family. This opportunity presents itself as a huge news story which is based on the exploitation of families in the slums. Needless to say, this entire plan backfires when one of the Judge’s own becomes entangled with Maggie Kizer and sets in motion the receipt of funeral notices addressed to each member of the Stallworth family.

    The investigations being conducted in the Black Triangle are used as a way to create a bigger news story than really existed. The intent of these investigations was to bring about trials which would be handled by Judge Stallworth himself. When Maggie is sentenced to death, a confrontation occurs in the Black Triangle which leads to the previously mentioned curse being placed upon the family. One by one, members of the family begin to encounter their fate.

    Some of the moments which struck me as memorable throughout the book included the nature of the trial for Maggie Kizer. Given the plot set out by Judge Stallworth, her fate was already sealed well before the trial started. Again, tying back to one of my comments above, I wish I could say that I didn’t believe this happened as frequently as I feel it does in the modern day. Likewise, the way Duncan turned his back upon Maggie left me feeling angry as he tried to justify his actions against her. Her reactions upon learning this news really hit home and was one of the stronger emotional moments in the book.

    Later in the book, we get to see the Judge shifting blame for the entire situation over to Duncan and his affair with, and concealment of the relationship with, Maggie Kizer. Again, this was a very emotion provoking scene and I found myself quite angry as it was occurring.

    Overall, I feel this book merited a 4/5. It took quite a while to get to the meat of the story (6 hours into the audiobook) where the curse was issued. The buildup was good, but I feel it was drawn out at points.

    Bray was a fantastic narrator (as usual) and his vocalistic talents really shown through in his various accents.

    The slow up-take aside, I would recommend the book to others. It is a great tale and continues on McDowell’s ability to craft some truly emotion-provoking scenes.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blake1383
    06/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Revenge in post civil war New York"

    This book made me feel I was in the same room with the characters and seeing what they were going through. I really enjoyed this book and the suspense kept me listening. If you like historical fiction tale of Eye for an Eye you should check this out. RC Bray does an incredible job and during the book I forgot all the voices were just him

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • W. Brooks
    Seattle, WA United States
    29/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark brooding downer"

    This book is read by R. C. Bray, one of my favorite narrators. Bray does a superb job on this book. But even Bray can't save this dark, dank depressing story. I mean it truly sucks the life out of You.
    I volunteered to review this book and in return got a free credit to buy it. Thank god! I would have hated to have spent a precious point on this drivel.
    Let me sum this up. Poor petty criminals vs. self-righteous assholes. The bad guys win. Hooray!
    Life's a bitch and then you die.
    I didn't like it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mary McCord
    22/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "AWESOME!!!"

    So macabre! Anything R.C. Bray narrates is fantastic and this book is keeps you hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • latasha
    Nowhere Land
    19/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "hmmm"

    this is unlike any of the other books by Michael McDowell that I've read. I wouldn't say this is his best. I prefer the supernatural ones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. Little
    Loveland, Colorado
    10/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strong female lead that you hate to love"
    What did you love best about Gilded Needles?

    I loved the female lead in the story. The characters were very well done and I really enjoyed the focus on women.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The revenge was served cold and it was satisfying. I cheered for Black Lena the entire way through.


    Which character – as performed by R. C. Bray – was your favorite?

    All of the characters reached me in different ways. I identified with them all.


    Any additional comments?

    This story was truly riveting and the black triangle left an allure that lingers. I enjoyed every last moment and the performance was stellar. One heck of a story!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • caitlin
    12/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "save the horror for last"

    I was hoping that this whole book would be a horror but there's just a bit of messed up stuff at the end. I really didn't care about the whole three quarters of the book but the end was really good so . yeah

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eladar
    06/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "lot of build for something that ends rather not so"

    Not a bad story, but didn't feel much at the climax. Maybe I've been desensitized, but wasn't shocked or surprised. Well written though and mildly entertaining

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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