cover image The Night Shift

The Night Shift

Natalka Burian. Park Row, $26.99 (362p) ISBN 978-0-7783-3304-3

Burian (Daughters of the Wild) sets this captivating, detail-rich speculative novel in early 2000s New York City, where heroine Jean operates on a simple principle: when someone gets too close, run. And run she does when her psychotherapist boss asks one too many questions about her history, leaving behind a job she loves to sling beers at the Red and Gold bar. Desperate to escape her past, she’s uncomfortable discussing her parents’ deaths and the accident that stripped her of her passion for running, and she does all she can to avoid seeming like friend material. Still, she’s quickly charmed by her musician coworker, Iggy, who introduces Jean to “shortcuts,” mysterious fixed doorways through time and space—and shortly thereafter, he disappears. Despite her determination not to get involved, Jean’s drawn into Iggy’s disappearance and its link to the impossible shortcuts—and through investigating, she’s forced to face what she fears most. Blending women’s and speculative fiction, Burian draws readers along on Jean’s emotional path toward self-discovery and deeper understanding of the world around her. The vivid descriptions of New York bring the city to life, creating a character just as palpable as the others. Readers will be hooked. Agent: Kate Johnson, Wolf Literary. (July)