Book Review

Westside Saints – W.M. Akers

westside saints


Book Title: Westside Saints

Series: Westside #2

Author:  W.M. Akers

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  5/5/20

Star Rating: 5 stars  –  Even better than the first book!

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Return to a twisted version of Jazz Age New York in this follow up to the critically acclaimed fantasy Westside, as relentless sleuth Gilda Carr’s pursuit of tiny mysteries drags her into a case that will rewrite everything she knows about her past.

Six months ago, the ruined Westside of Manhattan erupted into civil war, and private detective Gilda Carr nearly died to save her city. In 1922, winter has hit hard, and the desolate Lower West is frozen solid. Like the other lost souls who wander these overgrown streets, Gilda is weary, cold, and desperate for hope. She finds a mystery instead.

Hired by a family of eccentric street preachers to recover a lost saint’s finger, Gilda is tempted by their promise of “electric resurrection,” when the Westside’s countless dead will return to life. To a detective this cynical, faith is a weakness, and she is fighting the urge to believe in miracles when her long dead mother, Mary Fall, walks through the parlor door. – Goodreads

Link to my review of the first book in the series: Westside

I think I liked this book even more than I did the first in the series!  Gilda Carr is back to solve more “tiny mysteries” but as the book cover says “tiny mysteries never stay tiny” and that is never true than with this case.

The book is an instantly engrossing, clever, thriller/mystery that I couldn’t stop reading.  Gilda herself is a interesting character with a complicated relationship with both parents.  She lost her mother young and idealizes her, her father was a troublesome character but she still has retained a certain fondness for him.  Along with all of this is her deep love for The Westside, and she finds herself invested in the people there and hopes to help them survive the terrors of the place.  Gilda is also a very pained person.  Isolated, introverted, difficult to be around, she is also a very principled person but her inner turmoil and insecurities really come to the forefront in this book. I feel like you really get to know her while reading.

When her long-dead mother shows up in her house what evolves is a strange, jazz age Back to the Future type story.  Our parents are never who we think they are.  They are infinitely more nuanced, and their personalities are not really seen during our childhood when what we are really seeing is our own needs and selves reflected in them.  Solving the mystery in front of her is Gilda’s focus, but it is her relationship with her mother that will really motivate her actions.

Like I said, I really loved this second book in the series. I have no idea if there will be more books to come, but I certainly hope so.  I’m going to keep Mr. Aker’s name in my search bar at Netgalley just in case.

Song for this book: Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out – Bessie Smith


4 thoughts on “Westside Saints – W.M. Akers

    1. I don’t have any idea when or if there will be more books in the series. They are kind of more standalone books in that sense. More would be nice, but not needed to appreciate what we already have.

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