Books Magazine

The Pirate (Bloodlands Collection #1) by Harold Schechter

By Pamelascott

In 1860, a sloop drifted into New York Harbour. Not a soul on board-just blood from cabin to deck. Looted coins led to Bowery thug Albert Hicks, the axe slayer who turned his shipmates into chum.

His crimes were absolutely fiendish. His execution was pure ballyhoo. It drew nearly ten thousand bloodthirsty sightseers to the city-including the enterprising showman P. T. Barnum. Refreshments were served as the most notorious and unrepentant mass murderer of the era made history as one of America's first celebrity killers.

The Pirate is part of Bloodlands, a chilling collection of short page-turning historical narratives from bestselling true-crime master Harold Schechter. Spanning a century in our nation's murderous past, Schechter resurrects nearly forgotten tales of madmen and thrill-killers that dominated the most sensational headlines of their day.


[The first oyster restaurant in New York City opened in a dingy basement on Broad Street in 1763, and from that point onward oyster cellars sprung up all over Manhattan, selling millions of 'the succulent bivalves' to diners of every social class]

(Amazon Original Stories, 28 June 2018, ebook, 54 pages, Prime Reading)



This is my first time reading the author. I really enjoyed The Pirate. I tend to really enjoy true crime. It satisfies my morbid fascination with things that are gory and macabre. The Pirate is a suitably dark, gory and macabre tale with vivid description of a bloody massacre and a trial so over the top it reads like a circus act. I was absorbed in the tale from the moment the gruesome discovery is made. The newspaper clippings and court documents are a nice touch but I expected a bit more interactive fun from Kindle-in-motion. Still, The Pirate is a gripping tale. Hicks is convicted of Piracy even though he murdered three men because this crime was easier to prove and carried the same prison sentence. I look forward to reading the other tales in this series.

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