The White City: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime
The World’s Fair attracts all sorts in 1893, from wide-eyed citizens to the dregs of society. And there’s more than wonder afoot. A murderer stalks the streets of Chicago, and a young woman named Winnifred believes she saw him abduct a woman in broad daylight from the Fair. But her accusations are turned aside as flights of fancy, given her record of previous reports that turned out to be meritless. But Winnifred will not give up so easily, and she finagles a job working for the man she suspects… a man history remembers as H.H. Holmes.
The White City fashions an intriguing fictional story around a real-life horror show, as the World’s Fair becomes the backdrop for the horror hotel run by infamous serial killer H.H. Holmes. Hitchcock brings all of these elements to life in an engaging fashion, combining Victorian elements like arranged marriage and outmoded ideas of propriety with more modern thriller elements.
And along the way, a forbidden romance blossoms as Winnifred grows close to the detective assigned to keep her out of trouble. Hitchcock manages to balance the true-crime aspect, the romance, the thriller elements, and the investigation, all while keeping the book moving at a relatively brisk pace.
The White City exists at a crossroads in criminal history, and although the outcome is predetermined, it doesn’t make the book any less entertaining.
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