Customer Reviews for

City for Ransom

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2006

    An Excellent Beginning

    In making the move to historical fiction, Robert W. Walker deploys his strength as a mystery writer while evoking visceral images of 1893 Chicago at the time of the ¿White City¿. His characters are razor sharp in intensity. The plot unrolls seamlessly as he captures the politics and atmosphere of late nineteenth century Chicago and its police force. In particular, the protagonist, Inspector Alastair Ransom, is not the usual dashing, handsome, svelte cop hero. Instead he harbors a chorus of mental demons, supports a number of personal vices and carries wounds that dig into his soul like claws. Alastair Ransom is a fascinating study in the dynamics of human behavior. If the book only offered one such intriguing character, it would fail. Walker offers a solid contingent whose interactions fuel the plot and their own personal agendas. I¿m particularly fussy about my historical mystery reading and have shunned a number of books for their lack of research. So many of them do not deliver that gut-wrenching something that causes a book to rise above its peers. I am captivated by City for Ransom. Walker gives you your money¿s worth and more. I can¿t wait to see how the series plays out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    Good mystery...

    The year is 1893 and the Chicago World's Fair has a serial killer on the loose. There is no such thing as collecting fingerprints. Nor do the police have our modern labs yet to help analyze clues for evidence. ....................... Inspector Alastair Ransom is given the case. Alastair would have an easier time of it if the chief had not told him to work with Dr. James Phineas Towes. Alastair simply does not believe that James can read victims' last minutes by the contours of their scalps. Alastair's partner, Griffin Drimmer, is more open minded though. One thing is for sure, the trio best get busy, because Alastair is on the killer's list. .................... **** I do not read many mysteries that are set in the past. I am happy that I took a chance on this one though. An intense story focusing on how different investigations were dealt with back in the 1890's. There are even a couple of chuckles waiting for you during Alastair's more frustrating moments. Mystery fans will LOVE this one. ****

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2005

    A fantastic history mystery

    Walker has done an amazing job of weaving research and the fantastical into this amazingly fast novel. could not put it down, not for a second.. read it in one sitting.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific late nineteenth century police procedural

    Though the Haymarket Riots of a few years ago still haunt him, in 1893 Chicago, Police Inspector Alastair Ransom has become renowned for his use of modern police methods including some he has invented to solve crimes. The cop is currently looking into the third garroting homicide in three weeks. However, his superior Chief Kohler dumps crime scene phrenologist Dr. James Phineas Tewes on Alastair who rejects the young man as a charlatan and besides fears the media circus of having a magnetism conman accompany their inquiries. --- However, Alastair gives James his do as the lad refuses to back off though he is treated as a nuisance by the cop Alastair¿s junior partner Griffin Drimmer is nicer to the eager youngster. As the sleuth diligently works the case to stop a serial killer from murdering again, James observes his methods trying to learn the new science of criminology from the master. --- CITY FOR RANSOM is a terrific late nineteenth century police procedural that uses the investigation to provide insight into life in Chicago during the Gay 90s. Key elements make the who-done-it intriguing but what comes alive from these components are insights into a bygone era such as the early days of the science of criminology, the role of women during an investigation, and looking back at an earlier relatively recent (in terms of the setting) real tragedy. With a strong cast especially Ransom and Phineas-Tewses and a neat twist involving the latter Robert W. Walker is at his lofty best with this terrific historical mystery. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2005

    City for Ransom

    Walker has outdone himself, going from his Instinct Series and Edge Series to a time when forensics was not in use. City for Ransom is a police and noir tale set against a dark city--early Chicago circa 1893 and Walker captures it like a magician, as if he has walked these streets. This is a book that is nonstop from page one to last a great, great additon to the territory carved out by Caleb Carr but in many ways, Walker goes beyond Carr.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2005

    City for Ransom

    Only one word for this novel: Outstanding. This must be the book Walker was born to write, and as the beginning of a new series, I can't wait to be 'Ransomed' again and again. I loved the Instinct and Edge Series, and now something even better set in time -- 1893 Chciago gaslight. Walker is master of his domain!

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