The blurb: New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.
Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.
But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist’s spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls’ friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose’s fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.
But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out?
My Review: Set in 1920’s New York, The Other Typist has a very Gatsby-esque feel to it. The sense of inevitable doom. The protagonist is Rose, an orphan who works in the Police precinct as a typist. Rose comes across as a slightly down at heel, bland character, someone who’s ambitions in life are very modest. So when she meets Odalie she is almost the perfect blank canvas friend for her to mould.
I found the writing style of this book quite hard to get along with – it sounded written by Rose – which is an achievement in itself! I kept on with it as I really wanted to know what could be so dreadful and I recommend other readers persevere, it will come good in the end. The style is that of a long-winded, woman under duress to remember all the facts. In some places I felt it could’ve been whipped along more with some snappy dialogue!
All in all this was an interesting crime novel – the epilogue – which I won’t spoil – in fact the very last line has confused me so much that I’ve reread it six or seven times. It’s impossible to figure the meaning which has left me a little unsatisfied.
If you love the glamour of speakeasies, the roaring 20’s, strong independent anti-heroines – then this is the book for you! Dark and beautiful, Odalie’s story is very cleverly hinted at. Worth a read!
7 out of 10 stars! *******
BUY ME! The Other Typist