Monday, July 8, 2013

The Watcher in the Shadows

The Watcher in the Shadows
by Chris Moriarty
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.  326 pgs. Fiction

     Moriarty's second book in her alternate magical New York history series is perhaps even better than the first. In this installment, Sacha is haunted literally and figuratively by the dybbuk he has summoned. Set in the foreground of the impending Pentacle Shirtwaist Factory strike, opposed by J P Morgaunt, master magician and oppressor of the poor, the story begins with the death of the Klezmer King, a suddenly remarkable magician who has been electrocuted by his wired tuxedo.  As Sacha, Inspector Wolf, and Lily Astral investigate, people they know are innocent fall under suspicion and into terrible danger from the "watcher in the shadows." Sacha seeks help from his grandfather the rabbi who would love to save him--if he could.  It falls on Sacha to somehow save those he loves from the dark incarnation of himself.  But how?  That question is not answered in this book, but readers will tear through these suspenseful--and often witty--pages, nevertheless, then anxiously await the final volume in this sparkling trilogy.  A working knowledge of the city of New York will make these books even more appealing, but perhaps the books will lead young readers to an interest in the history of the city that never sleeps.


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