I found ‘Chicago May’ an entertaining historical crime fiction with a decent romance tale throughout.
Escaping to the new world and lured in by the luxury and glamour of a smooth con-man, May Sharpe is determined to escape from her tortured past and live a life of respectible elegance and comfort. We see May’s character develop from a naive Irish farm girl, desperate to reach New York to a wiley lady with plenty of imaginative ideas for new money making schemes or getting herself out of a tight spot. Although not blameless throughout the plot I found May quite endearing, and even when she’s in the thick of a con, there’s a naivety there that makes the possibility of her redemption believable. Persistently hounded by a young upstart Cop, keen to stay clean from bribes and eager to save this mysterious young Irish girl from herself and the notorious ‘Society’ Eddie Young, Joe Perski matches May in her naivety and hopefulness, a contrast to the backdrop of prohibition New York and underground bribes and dealings. I found ‘Chicago May’ an entertaining historical crime fiction with a decent romance tale throughout. I liked the contrast in worlds that the author manages to demonstrate, sharing stories of May’s impoverished and brutal rural Irish upbringing and the rich opulence of 20s New York in all it’s Gatsby-esque glamour. There’s plenty of twists throughout the book to keep the reader guessing as to how this book will end: will May be caught in her cons? Will she do whatever it takes to hold on to the lifestyle Eddie offers? Or, will Eddie’s dealings put her and everyone she cares about at risk?
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
January 1919. Sixteen-year peasant girl, May Sharpe, escapes her abusive father, by stealing his savings, and flees Ireland, dreaming of finding a new glamorous life. Arriving in the harsh New York winter, May finds a society in turmoil, as the war years turn to recession. Destitute, May is drawn into the criminal underworld by smooth con-man, `Society´ Eddie Young who promises her a life of excitement and easy money. A young, idealistic cop, Joe Perski, tries to save her from Eddie´s influence. Joe, as quintessentially good as Eddie is dishonest, has fallen for the beautiful, feisty May and makes it his mission to `save´ her, before she finds herself in prison for life. May’s new life of crime is not about morality, it´s pragmatic. Duping men who think she is a whore, she’s soon living the life of her dreams. By her eighteenth birthday, after an audacious diamond heist in Chicago, May becomes known as `Chicago May´, the most notorious swindler in New York. But at the height of her success, married to Eddie and living the `respectable´ life she has always secretly craved, May learns that Eddie has accepted a contract to murder a militant trade union leader. Failing to dissuade Eddie, and having been beaten for her pains, May is forced into the most difficult decision of her young life, to choose between a diamond-life, or a lead bullet.
|Publication date:||1st May 2021|
|Publisher:||Cumulus Publishing Limited|
|Primary Genre||Crime and Mystery|
Closing date: 10/04/2022