I read my first Beatriz Williams book in 2017 and since then I have tried to read as many as I can fit into my schedule. I thank TLC Book Tours for sending me her latest, The Wicked Redhead for my honest review.
About The Wicked Redhead:
Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 10, 2019)
The dazzling narrator of The Wicked City brings her mesmerizing voice and indomitable spirit to another Jazz Age tale of rumrunners, double crosses, and true love, spanning the Eastern seaboard from Florida to Long Island to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1924. Ginger Kelly wakes up in tranquil Cocoa Beach, Florida, having fled south to safety in the company of disgraced Prohibition agent Oliver Anson Marshall and her newly-orphaned young sister, Patsy. But paradise is short-lived. Marshall is reinstated to the agency with suspicious haste and put to work patrolling for rumrunners on the high seas, from which he promptly disappears. Gin hurries north to rescue him, only to be trapped in an agonizing moral quandary by Marshall’s desperate mother.
1998. Ella Dommerich has finally settled into her new life in Greenwich Village, inside the same apartment where a certain redheaded flapper lived long ago…and continues to make her presence known. Having quit her ethically problematic job at an accounting firm, cut ties with her unfaithful ex-husband, and begun an epic love affair with Hector, her musician neighbor, Ella’s eager to piece together the history of the mysterious Gin Kelly, whose only physical trace is a series of rare vintage photograph cards for which she modeled before she disappeared.
Two women, two generations, two urgent quests. But as Ginger and Ella track down their separate quarries with increasing desperation, the mysteries consuming them take on unsettling echoes of each other, and both women will require all their strength and ingenuity to outwit a conspiracy spanning decades.
About the Author:
A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.
This is the second book of a trilogy. It is meant to be a stand along but I have to admit that I am glad that I had read the first book, The Wicked City. In the case with most books in a series it is often helpful to have read any preceeding volumes but with this one I think it’s particularly helpful.
The Wicked Redhead tells its tale in two time periods; in 1924 where Oliver and Ginger have run from her rum running stepfather. In 1998 Ella is living in the same apartment that Ginger once inhabited and feels a connection. She has found some belongings of Ginger including a tinted photograph hidden in the apartment and they intrigue her so that she wants to learn more about the beautiful woman she sees.
The book takes the reader on a tale of love and redemption with a wild ride through Prohibition. It starts in the steamy heat of Florida but New York also plays a big role. Ms. Williams brings both locales to vivid life in each era. The relationships are rich and the characters and their actions will keep you reading. I did prefer the story from the past more but that generally happens when I read these dual timeline tales. I will look forward to the next book in the series.