cover image Invisible City

Invisible City

Julia Dahl. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04339-9

The secretive society of Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews provides the backdrop for Dahl’s impressive debut. Rebekah Roberts, a reporter for a New York tabloid, covers the murder of Rivka Mendelssohn, whose naked body has been found clenched in the teeth of an excavator in a Brooklyn scrap yard, whose owner, Aron Mendelssohn, a prominent Hasidic leader, happens to be the victim’s husband. As Rebekah questions the black-clad women ruled by men and God, she opens wounds left by just such a woman: her own mother, who abandoned her at birth to return to her Hasidic roots. Rebekah’s Jewishness gains her access. Because the police, for reasons of their own, are turning a blind eye on the case means she is the only one looking for answers. Dahl’s convincing dialogue and perfect pacing make for a real page-turner. And her storytelling skills illuminate the intriguing worlds of the tabloid press, Hasidism, the NYPD, and Brooklyn’s 20-somethings—as well as the fragile boundaries of family, religion, and life itself. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (May)