The ‘Father of Greater New York’ is dead. Shot outside his Park Avenue mansion in the year of our Lord, 1903. In the hour of his death, will the truth of his life finally break free? Born to a struggling farming family in 1820, Andrew Haswell Green was a self-made man who reshaped Manhattan, built Central Park and turned New York into a modern metropolis. Now, at eighty-three, when he thought the world could hold no more surprises, he is murdered. As the detective assigned to the case traces his ghost across the city, other spectres appear: a wealthy courtesan; a broken-hearted man in a bowler hat; and an ambitious politician, Samuel, whose lifelong friendship was a source of joy and frustration.
In a life of industry and restraint, where is the space for love? As restlessly inventive and absorbing as its protagonist, The Great Mistake is the story of a city, and a singular man, transformed by longing.