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Reviewed by Carol Coetzee for Readers' Favorite
Virtue's End by WG Palmer is set in 1901, with all the interesting quirks and way of life typical to that period in history. Matteo Carsonelli and his family, immigrants from Italy, live in the slums of Manhattan known as Poortown. Matteo vows to escape the poverty, and works his way up into a large company. He changes his name to Matt Carston. Peter is a reporter, his best friend, and the son of J. Hunter Sloan, the owner of the company Matt works for. Peter is a humorous character with a taste for the good life. Matt is a more focused and shy person. When Matt's sister, Louisa, is brutally murdered, Peter and Matt set out to discover the identity of the murderer. This leads them to places high and low, some quite heartbreaking and tragic. This is a languidly told tale of love, greed, betrayal, heartache, friendship, and intrigue woven into a plot which draws you in until the surprising culmination.
A well thought out plot, twisted and woven through an historic time in human history. You are drawn into the slums and the grim, hard lives of the less fortunate. You see the greed of the rich. Hard work, low salaries and poverty lead to discontent, violence and the beginning of the unions. Some of the darkest corners of life and human minds are prodded in Virtue's End. Sometimes disturbing, always fascinating, this intriguing tale unravels slowly and subtly. WG Palmer has indeed captured the fallibility, greed, cruelty and kindness of humanity in an intimate, honest way.