Incognito

Incognito

4.8 10
by Gregory Murphy
     
 

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An elegant literary mystery set during the Gilded Age.

New York City, 1911. Representing the widow of a Wall Street financier, lawyer William Dysart travels to a small Long Island town with a generous offer for Miss Sybil Curtis's cottage and five acres of land. But when Sybil refuses to sell, the widow threatens to use her influence with the state to

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Overview

An elegant literary mystery set during the Gilded Age.

New York City, 1911. Representing the widow of a Wall Street financier, lawyer William Dysart travels to a small Long Island town with a generous offer for Miss Sybil Curtis's cottage and five acres of land. But when Sybil refuses to sell, the widow threatens to use her influence with the state to seize the property.

Intrigued by Sybil's defiance and afflicted by a growing affection for her, William develops a desire to help her that becomes an obsession he cannot define, one that tears away the facade of his life, and presents him with truths he's unprepared to face.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
William Dysart, the scion of a wealthy New York family and an accomplished attorney, is married to a so-cialite who loves his money and status far more than she loves him. This situation is tolerable until he undertakes a property purchase for a wealthy widow, Lydia Billings, who wants a cottage belonging to Sybil Curtis, a mysterious young woman. Dysart becomes attracted to Curtis, who hints at Billings' dark motives in wanting her property. As Dysart begins to unravel the connections between Curtis and Billings (and falls more in love with Curtis), he uncovers an unspeakable scandal—Billings' husband had been sexually abusing the barely-adolescent Curtis for years and the cottage was the price of her silence. When he learns this, he vows to do everything in his power to protect her and help her heal, even if it destroys his career, marriage, and reputation. While the novel borrows liberally from other turn-of-the-century tales to create the hypocritical disaffected high society of New York City, Curtis' scandal is extremely modern and feels anachronistic and dissonant. Curtis is a standard maligned and damaged woman fight-ing against social forces, and Dysart is equally familiar. The scandal may be enough for readers, but this tale evokes enough hints of better literature to make readers wish for more substance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425241035
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/05/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
693,493
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Susan Nagel
"Incognito by Gregory Murphy is a deliciously satisfying Gilded Age mystery…. Incognito will resonate with the modern audience as a timeless study of dreams and illusions and that of desire—for beauty, for acquisition, for atonement, and for true love and happiness." --(Susan Nagel, author of Marie-Thérèse, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter and Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin)
Yona Zeldis McDonough
"Although Incognito takes place in 1911, its concerns could not be more timely and its characters are as fresh and vivid as if they lived and breathed today. Murphy has an unerring gift for bringing the past to pulsating life…. This is a gorgeous book, beautifully rendered and deeply felt." --(Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of Breaking the Bank)
Nicola Kraus
Like Edith Wharton, Gregory Murphy brilliantly captures both New York high society's exquisite veneer and its brutish core in this compelling love story." --(Nicola Kraus, co-author of The Nanny Diaries)

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