Review: One Night, New York by Lara Thompson


One night, two women and the ultimate revenge.

I am not a fan of thrillers, which is widely known, but when a book pitches itself with the words noir or old New York, I am faster than a magpie, snitching myself a gorgeous copy.

One Night, New York follows Frances as she escapes her home to live with her brother in the big apple, where she has dreams to become something else than a scared farm girl, wasting her life away through her parents' abuse and violence.

But things in the City don't work out as she had hoped. Her brother keeps her hidden in their apartment, scared that something bad might happen to her if she found the wrong people but Frances wants to feel free, she's tired of living her life under other people's rules, she wants to own it.

Also, there's this mystery that runs through the whole book, revolving around her brother's job, his late hours and his sneaky behaviour which make Frances even more curious to venture outside and discover the truth which will be harder to swallow than she'd ever imagined but with the help of her new friends, the charismatic photographer Dicky, his journalist friend Jacks and Agnes, Dicky's assistant with big girl's dreams of her own.

The book is a bit slow at the beginning, I think it takes speed halfway through it when something shocking happens and from then on is just a GASP! and an OMG! until the very end. 

To be quite honest, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would which is quite disappointing. I felt like the author was more focused on how to make the sentences sound more beautiful, embellishing each word without giving a proper view on what was happening instead of giving the reader some clues here and there to make it more interesting.

I found Frances quite naive in certain situations especially, but slowly becomes more aware of her surroundings and the people she meets - and those she must stay away from. 

I also like Agnes quite a lot, and Dicky and Jacks' world as it's the bohemian grandeur of artists and outsiders that party all night, with fancy dresses and a feeling of belonging. Some dialogues are really wonderful, especially those that give a glimpse of women's lives in that era and how it was absurd that they were called names and being killed and treated as men's property. Like they couldn't be anything on their own.
You men and your promises. Keeping your word, honouring each other. Honour's just pride by another name, and you know what that comes before. Silence is cowardice. Heads down, mouths shut and it all keeps happening. You pretend not to see it.
And lastly, that ending. I did expect to be something quite tragic but I didn't expect that. The way it's written it almost plays in front of your eyes, the horror of what women had to suffer, and the impotence others felt from the outside, knowing they couldn't be able to help them.

The perversion. The darkness of it all made me feel powerless and absolutely mad. Mad at how this still is a men's world, women's bodies their playground at their disposal.

Ultimately, it's also a story about hope. The hope that maybe we can do it. We can reach that dream, we can become whoever we want without men's opinions or permission. If we're strong enough or if we have someone willing to fight for us - with us - then maybe it's worth it.

Because the only way up, is through.
3.5/5 ⭐


At the top of the Empire State Building on a freezing December night, two women hold their breath. Frances and Agnes are waiting for the man who has wronged them. They plan to seek the ultimate revenge. 

Set over the course of a single night, One Night, New York is a detective story, a romance and a coming-of-age tale. It is also a story of old New York, of bohemian Greenwich Village between the wars, of floozies and artists and addicts, of a city that sucked in creatives and immigrants alike, lighting up the world, while all around America burned amid the heat of the Great Depression. 

Get your copy here: 
Hardback / Paperback

*A copy of this book has been kindly provided by Virago but all opinions are my own. 
*TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains some sensitive topics such as violence against women and abortion. If you think you might be triggered by any of those topics, please, put your mental health first and do not read this book.