We were on the plane home from vacation. It was a four-screaming-baby flight, and I was enjoying my best purchase of the trip: a two euro set of foam earplugs. My husband reached over, popped out one of my earplugs and and said,
‘It’s a history book, but he ends each chapter with a CLIFFHANGER!’
‘Let me see!’
He was reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
I tried to read over his shoulder, but he would have none of it. I kept a beady eye on him and stole it the second he fell asleep. When he woke up I would not give it back. He had to wait for me to pass out and pry it out of my hands.
Now we’re home, and there’s currently a three-deep line of friends who want to read it as soon as the previous person is done.
In Chicago in 1893, a team of world-class architects plans and executes the Chicago World’s Fair to impossible standards under an impossible deadline. They plan some of the largest buildings in the world, and search for an attraction to out-Eiffel the Eiffel Tower. There is a special guest appearance by my man Frederick Law Olmstead!
Across town at the new L-train stop on the main route to the fair, a con artist builds a two-storey hotel, complete with kill rooms and disposal chutes. While the world’s greatest exhibition takes place a few stops away, the con man grooms and murders single female visitors to the Fair.
Did you read Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell? Did you get creepy goosebumps, particularly at the sequence where Gull brings on the 20th century? Same feel. Real story.
I was late to work three times because of this book. Five stars!
Random House has a great site for the book including an interview with the author- http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/devilinthewhitecity/home.html