High drama in an evocative setting. 4/5 stars.
Thank you to Endeavour Media for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.
The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.
But the invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.
But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.
Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything… even murder.
Although I felt Dreamland got off to a slow start, once the action moves the Coney Island, I found myself becoming increasingly gripped by events. Stick with it!
The descriptions of the area are very atmospheric. I found the period details, particularly the clothes (for some reason!), highly evocative and the author clearly did a lot of research. Setting the story during a heat wave is also a great touch as it adds pressure to all the characters and brings a bit of madness to a already tense situation.