• U.S.

Books: City Of Light

1 minute read
Walter Kirn

In search of a juicy beach book that you need not be embarrassed to be seen with at the most exclusive resort? Get your hands on City of Light, a full-to-the-brim first novel. Set in turn-of-the-century Buffalo, N.Y.–a city that’s being electrified, literally, by the new turbines at Niagara Falls–the book is part mystery and part historical melodrama, fluently mixing fact and fiction, with the sort of Victorian plot devices that guarantee a straight-through, sleepless read. The novel is no Ragtime, but it’s close–an operatic potboiler, fat with romance, politics and scandal.

–By Walter Kirn

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com