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On Night's Shore

A Novel

Published: February 2017
SKU: 9781492639763

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"A master storyteller." — New York Times Book Review

On Night's Shore brings us deep into the troubled psyche of Edgar Allan Poe and the power struggle between the sleazy underbelly and the business elite of nineteenth-century New York City.

Standing on the grimy banks of the Hudson River, street urchin Augie Dubbins spots a young woman toss her baby into the water, then jump in herself. As the only witness to the tragedy, Augie sees an opportunity to make a few pennies recounting the events, and in doing so encounters a struggling young journalist named Edgar Allan Poe, a poet and newspaper hack whose penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time has earned him more than a few enemies.

When the unlikely duo discover the body of yet another young woman shortly after, they become entrapped in a mire of murder, greed, and power that stretches from the Five Points slums to the gleaming heights of Fifth Avenue.

Additional Praise for On Night's Shore:

"A riveting tale of murder and betrayal… On Night's Shore drips with descriptive power." — New York Post

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Case Count: 28
  • Series: Edgar Allan Poe Mysteries
"Stylish, dark-toned adventure...gritty and opulent." — Publishers Weekly
"The real delight here is the portrayal of Manhattan's bawdy underworld and its nefarious characters. Comparisons to Caleb Carr's The Alienist are inevitable and not unwarranted. Fans of Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding series and Laurie King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice will also be delighted with this work. One hopes that we shall see Poe and his young apprentice work many more cases." — Library Journal
"Who better to obsess about the death of a beautiful young woman than Edgar Allan Poe, here seen in his journalist days with the Mirror in the New York of 1840? Poe appears through the perspective of Augie Dubbins, a one-time street urchin and petty criminal now writing, as an old man, about the death that brought him and Poe together. The body of a young woman is discovered under a pier in the Hudson River; Poe is assigned to cover the event for his paper and meets Dobbins at the docks. The streetwise Dubbins convinces Poe that the official explanation, that the woman killed herself after a botched abortion, doesn't fit the facts of the discovery, especially that her bonnet was tied with a sailor's knot. The unlikely pair embark on an investigation that rises from the docks all the way to the unabashed wealth of Fifth Avenue. Although the mystery is well constructed, the real intrigue of this novel is the way in which Poe's personality, his household (then consisting of his aunt Martha and his tubercular child bride, Virginia), and his writings are the subject of Dobbins' musings and analysis. First-rate history mystery and critique on Poe" — Booklist
"From the poetry of his opening words to the last line, Randall Silvis maintains the illusion of effortless flow that draws the reader from page to page without pause.... The writing is rich, fluid, packed with controlled energy, unobtrusive. The language, the imagery, the plot flow together without a snag. In fact, Silvis's talent has made writing this review intensely difficult. How do you describe a perfect dive, or a Ray Brown bass solo, or moonlight on snow? You can't; they must be experienced. On Night's Shore attains that kind of perfection—a page-turner that leaves the reader breathless with the force of its beauty." — Erie Times-News
"The father of the modern detective story takes center stage in a riveting tale of murder, corruption and redemption.... Silvis recreates 1840s New York with an unstinting and often brutal clarity. His elegant, evocative prose is suggestive of Poe's own style and his narrative integrates elements from Poe's more popular works. The characters, real and fictional alike, are masterpieces of insight into the human experience. Nowhere is this insight more evident than in the author's rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, a brilliant, compassionate and fatally complex man whose devotion to his work was exceeded only by his love for his family." — Kelly Cannon Reviews
"Silvis delivers pungent impressions of the living city, exploring its mansions, slums, morgue, prisons, poorhouses and opium dens for all the ambient sounds and smells that define the character of a busy, brawling, unwashed metropolis." — Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"The mystery behind 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' is just one of the classic Poe themes woven into Randall Silvis's narrative, along with the always tantalizing puzzle of Poe's own ferocious and unique creativity. Silvis's story is compelling." — Otto Penzler, Penzler's Picks
"A riveting tale of murder and betrayal.... On Night's Shore drips with descriptive power." — The New York Post
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