By Harold Schechter
With such acclaimed works as The Devil’s Gentleman, Harold Schechter has earned renown because the dean of true-crime historians. Now, during this gripping account of riding ambition, doomed love, and brutal homicide in an iconic American relations, Schechter back casts his gaze into the sinister shadows of gaslit nineteenth-century manhattan City.
In September 1841, a grisly discovery is made aboard a service provider send docked in reduce ny: Deep within the shipment carry, certain with rope and coated with savage head wounds, lies a man’s bare corpse. whereas a assassin has taken pains to hide his victim’s identification, it takes little time to figure out that the useless guy is Samuel Adams, owner of an area printing company. And in much less time nonetheless, witnesses and a bloody path of clues lead investigators to your doorstep of the enigmatic John Colt.
The scion of a filthy rich Connecticut family members, Colt has defied his parents’ efforts to mildew him right into a gentleman—preferring to flout authority and pursue pleasure. sarcastically, it's the ordered technological know-how of accountancy that for a time lends him respectability. yet now John Colt’s ghastly crime and the following sensational homicide trial deliver infamy to his surname—even after it turns into synonymous along with his visionary more youthful brother’s groundbreaking invention.
The embodiment of yankee luck, Sam Colt has risen from bad huckster to industrious inventor. His maximum fulfillment, the revolver, will carry him untold thousands whilst it transforms the yankee West. In John’s hour of want, Sam rushes to his brother’s side—perhaps as a result mystery they proportion.
In Gilded Age ny, a urban awash with treacherous schemers, lurid dime-museum curiosities, and the tawdry excesses of penny-press journalism, the Colt-Adams affair conjures up tabloid headlines of startling and ugly hyperbole, which in flip force legions of thrill-seekers to John Colt’s trial. The dramatic felony lawsuits will hearth the mind's eye of pioneering crime author Edgar Allan Poe and gas the righteous outrage of journalist Walt Whitman.
Killer Colt interweaves the exciting tales of brooding, impressive John and inventive, enterprising Sam—sharp-witted and engaging brothers on tremendously divergent trips, certain by way of an abiding mutual devotion and a secret they'll hide to the tip. Harold Schechter has mined the darkly macabre vein of a bygone period and taken forth a mom lode of storytelling gold.
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Additional info for Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend
And I failed. " "No, I'm sorry. " "No, I understand. " "You don't need me. You've got good men in Special Circs. Younger and sharper people. " After that, there wasn't much else to say. Riggins nodded to himself, then pressed the END key. Looked down at the empty tumbler, with just two nearly melted fragments of motel ice at the bottom. Funny thing was, he wasn't frightened. Not like he thought he might be. Actually, Riggins was surprised to find he was relieved. He'd been offered a choice: Do something repulsive, or we will kill you.
He didn't want to become part of the awesome display in front of him-the thunderous waves crashing, spewing foam onto the pebbled shore, the hermit crabs scurrying and digging and hiding. He just wanted to watch. Dark took another drink. He always started with beer-nothing stronger. When you've retired in your midthirties, you want to ease into your morning. Besides, the point wasn't ripping straight into oblivion. It was maintaining that line between reality and oblivion. He lived in the salty mist between ocean and shore.
Sure, if you screwed up in Special Circs, your career ended in one of three ways: demotion, dismissal, or death. But death usually came by the hand of the monsters you pursued. Not the people in charge. Dark sat back in his chair, staring at his former boss. How was he supposed to answer? There was no way he could come back to Special Circs. Not in a million fucking years. But if what Riggins said was true-that his freaking life depended on this-then how was he supposed to say no? Finally, Dark spoke.
Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace, and the Making of an American Legend by Harold Schechter