City of Light
The year is 1901. Buffalo, New York, is poised for glory. With its booming industry and newly electrified streets, Buffalo is a model for the century just beginning.
Louisa Barrett has made this dazzling city her home. Headmistress of Buffalo's most prestigious school, Louisa is at ease in a world of men, protected by the titans of her city. But nothing prepares her for a startling discovery: evidence of a murder tied to the city's cathedral-like power plant at nearby Niagara Falls. This shocking crime--followed by another mysterious death--will ignite an explosive chain of events. For in this city of seething intrigue and dazzling progress, a battle rages among politicians, power brokers, and industrialists for control of Niagara. And one extraordinary woman in their midst must protect a dark secret that implicates them all
Praise for City of Light
"Impressive. . . . A stereopticon of a novel, sepia-tinged at the edges, yet bursting with color at its center. . . . [A] vivid sense of the time and place. . . . [A] powerfully atmospheric book."
- New York Times
"An ingenious first novel. . . . Alive with historical figures who mingle seamlessly with the fictional characters. . . . A huge, sprawling portrait of the United States at the turn of the last century."
- New York Times Book Review
"Like Niagra Falls itself, it's breathtaking in its achievement. Lauren Belfer's first novel is a remarkable blend of murder mystery, love story, political intrigue, and tragedy of manners. . . .
Belfer handles it all-large cast, big themes-with uncommon assurance."
- USA Today
"Ambitious, original, and timely. . . . Enormous creative energy in research and plot development. . . . A complicated and imaginative story with many daring subplots and colorful secondary characters."
- Washington Post Book World
"A full-to-the-brim first novel. . . . A straight-through, sleepless read."
- Time magazine
"Vibrant characters and a riveting plot will keep your eyes glued to the pages."
"Suspenseful. . . . A historical novel of high intrigue."
"Delicious melodrama. . . . Belfer shows off a masterful ability to keep pages turning. . . . Brilliant skill."
- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"Belfer's microscopic attention to details of the period . . . give[s] the book's fabric the dense quality of tapestry."
- Chicago Tribune
"A gift for social nuance . . . shapes this compelling debut. . . . [A] rich mix of fictional and historical figures. . . . With the assurance of an established writer, Belfer delivers a work of depth and polish. . . . Irresistible to the last page."
- Publishers Weekly
"Swift and graceful reading. . . . Exceptionally well-crafted."
- Library Journal
"An ambitious, vividly detailed, and stirring debut novel offering a panorama of American life at the beginning of the 20th century. . . . Very gripping. A remarkably assured and satisfying first novel."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Quite simply electrifying. . . . [A] rich novel. . . . [Belfer] creates a fascinating, disquieting world in which nothing is what it seems. . . . To Lauren Belfer's endless credit, City of Light is panoramic, subtle, and very physical."