Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser: This made for pleasant reading over the rainy weekend. David Halpert returns to Detroit, having left after high school twenty five years ago. After he hears about the double shooting of his high school girlfriend Natalie and her half-brother Dirk, he contacts her sister and becomes involved with her. The various strands of the story come together nicely in the end. This is also one of the only books I’ve read that doesn’t make Detroit sound like a wasteland!
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson: Wilson adeptly marries the old and the new in this novel, combining computer hacking with The Thousand and One Days. Sound weird? I thought so too, but it works. A young hacker with the alias of Alif in a nameless Middle Eastern country tries to stay out of trouble. When the increasingly oppressive state security finally breaches his computer, he’s forced underground where he discovers that the world of The Thousand and One Days is real and the book itself might reveal a new era of knowledge.
People who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry: This is a really dark fucked up non fiction book about what at the beginning is simply the disappearance and murder of a young English woman working in a Japanese hostess bar. The author, struck by the story, investigates and helps uncovers a string of murders all done by one deranged man. It’s a crazy story that I can’ t begin to explain but one that Parry tells with exceptional reporting skills. Comparisons to In Cold Blood are not out of order here! It’s another paperback original in the FSG Originals line.
The Orphan Master by Jean Zimmerman: This is not the novel set in North Korea. This story is set in the 17th century Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (aka Manhattan). Orphans are going missing and Blandine van Couvering, herself an orphan, begins to worry. Suspects seem myriad and an English spy named Edward Drummond becomes involved. What sets this story apart from the average mystery are the unique details about early colonies. Zimmerman brings the time period alive with details.