Seventeen-year-old Evie has been sent away from Ohio to live in New York City with her eccentric uncle – and she couldn’t be happier about it. 1920s New York promises all the glamor and excitement she has missed in her small Ohio town. Perhaps there she can forget the loss of her brother in the Great War, and the strange visions she has been experiencing since his death.
But Evie finds that supernatural forces have followed her to New York. Her uncle runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, and soon Evie is using her visionary powers to help him investigate a series of grisly ritualistic murders. With the help of an aspiring poet, an irreverent pickpocket, a showgirl with a secret past, and her uncle’s handsome but strangely reticent assistant, Evie must stop the killer – before he completes his mission and raises an evil force that no one can control.
This novel offers a rich portrait of New York City in all its grit and all its glitter. Libba Bray digs deep to portray not just the glamor of fashionable uptown residences, but the wail of trumpets in Harlem speakeasies, the gang wars in Hells Kitchen, and the crammed tenements in the Lower East Side. Her research is comprehensive, and it shows. The one wrong note is that the climax hinges on a scientific impossibility: a comet that, rather than appearing in the sky for weeks or months at a time, blazes improbably into existence on the stroke of midnight and disappears again just as quickly. But this slip detracts only slightly from the well-developed world of the novel. The Diviners is a murder mystery with the pacing of a thriller, the delicious chill of a horror story, and the rich period detail of the best historical fiction.
336 (US), 592 (UK)