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As a midwife in the turn-of-the-century tenements of New York City, Sarah Brandt has seen suffering and joy, birth and death - and even murder. And the crime-ridden streets of the teeming city offer little relief from either...
Thinking she has been summoned by German immigrant Agnes Otto to usher a new life into the world, Sarah Brandt is greeted by the news of an untimely death instead. It seems that Agnes's beautiful younger sister, Gerda, had fallen into the life of a "Charity Girl". Caught up in the false glamour of the city's nightlife, she would trade her company - and her favors - not for money, but for lavish gifts and an evening's entertainment. And now she was dead, victim, no doubt, of one of her "gentlemen friends".
No one cares much about the fate of girls like Gerda; but Sarah does. And she vows to find her killer. To do so, she turns to Sergeant Frank Malloy. As the two pursue an investigation that leads from the bright lights of Coney Island to the stately homes of Fifth Avenue, they find that their shared passion for justice may cost them dearly...
After a successful delivery, a baby falls mysteriously ill. But midwife Sarah Brandt soon discovers the source of the baby's sickness - and a scandal that's paved with greed and deception.
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