I really wanted to love The Scribe (Norton), Matthew Guinn’s new, second novel after his Edgar Award-nominated The Resurrectionist (2013). While I was still working my way through the tale, I promoted it as a “Pierce’s Pick” in The Rap Sheet. The Scribe boasted a number of components that promised to appeal to me: a setting in 1881 Atlanta, Georgia; a post-Civil War pairing of white and black cops; and nefarious acts committed on the fringes of a world’s fair, reminding me of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City (2003).
Unfortunately, by the time I finished reading, I was less satisfied with Guinn’s efforts. As I hope I make clear in my review of The Scribe, posted today on the Kirkus Reviews Web site, this novel benefits from its author’s abundant storytelling abilities and skill at crafting dialogue. However, its faults weigh heavily against those strengths, and left me hoping for better from Guinn’s next yarn.