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Set in New York City in 1800, the murder case that Collins re-creates began with the discovery of a young woman’s body in a well. It was a politically connected well, owned by a company controlled by Aaron Burr. The accused in the killing had his own influential connection––to Alexander Hamilton––through a brother who built houses for the city’s elite. So, strangely, those Revolutionary War heroes, intense political rivals, and future duelists became the defense lawyers for Levi Weeks. Resident of a boardinghouse in which victim Elma Sands also lived, Weeks at trial faced a circumstantial case. With no eyewitnesses to the murder to confront, Burr and Hamilton pounced on weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and the jury returned an acquittal. Derived from what Collins reports is one of the first trial transcripts in American legal history, this tautly constructed narrative, infused with period atmosphere, holds the reader’s attention on the fate of the participants, including the well, which still exists. Collins (The Murder of the Century, 2011) delivers fine true-crime verisimilitude. --Gilbert TaylorSee all Editorial Reviews
Fantastic book. I didn't want my morning train rides to end just so I could keep reading. Collins adeptly details the murder trial of a young woman found in the Manhattan Well and... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Jess B
The author struggled to include every single factual detail from the true event while still creating a flowing novel-like storyline. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Katherine J Withun
This is an exciting and true story about two of the most important men during the founding of America. I throughly enjoyed it.Published 25 days ago by Aaron Scanlan
Not particularly interesting. Trial interactions were informative as historical records. Speed of trials would be helpful in today's time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Francisco Figueroa
Easily one of the best historical true crime books of recent years. Collins brings old New York to vivid life and not only tells the compelling story of one of America's oldest... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tom Wescott
An interesting historical mystery and trial. All the more interesting because of the dueling American founders, who were part of the story.Published 5 months ago by Philip Tobias
This is probably one of the most vivid books I've ever read about New York during the time Hamilton and Burr were rising to power. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lauren McGehee
Could hardly wait to get back to this book! I have read about both Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, but this is an interesting pairing of these two rivals. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Love My Kindle