cover image A Door Behind a Door

A Door Behind a Door

Yelena Moskovich. Two Dollar Radio, $16.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-953387-02-8

Moskovich (Virtuoso) mystifies with this vivid story of a pair of estranged siblings who immigrated to Milwaukee from the Soviet Union as children in 1991. The fragmented narrative begins with Olga Bokuchava, who strings together images and anecdotes from her childhood in a Soviet apartment building, where a neighbor, Nicky, stabbed a woman named Oksana to death and was sent to prison. Now in her 20s, Olga inexplicably gets a call from Nicky, who tells Olga that her younger brother, Moshe, with whom she lost contact after Moshe converted to Orthodox Judaism, is being held in some kind of extrajudicial custody after stabbing a young woman to death. Nicky gives her instructions on how to help Moshe, but before long, a pair of cops arrest Olga for the murder. From here, the perspective shifts to other characters, each wrapped up in an inscrutable conspiracy. Moskovich doesn’t explain what’s happened to Olga or Moshe, and focuses instead on the various characters’ states of mind, including Oksana’s, captivating the reader with the sense of waking from a dream and trying to fit each hazy piece together. The dynamic style and psychological depth make this an engaging mind bender. Agent: David Forrer, InkWell Management. (May)