cover image The Infinite Blacktop

The Infinite Blacktop

Sara Gran. Atria, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6571-9

At the start of Gran’s bold and stunning third novel featuring PI Claire DeWitt (after 2013’s Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway), Claire is headed for Las Vegas, Nev., in 2011 when she’s nearly killed by a crazed driver in Oakland, Calif. She manages to limp away from the scene, wondering who would have wanted to kill her. Flash back to Brooklyn in 1985, when Claire was the world’s greatest teenage detective. As a devotee of Jacques Silette, the French author of an obscure book called Détection, she and best friends Tracy and Kelly solved many cases. That same year Tracy vanished without a trace, and her disappearance has haunted Claire ever since. Back in 2011, Claire has discovered a lead in Las Vegas involving a rare comic book that may hold the key to what happened to Tracy. In a third narrative strand, set in Los Angeles in 1999, the 20-something Claire, who needs hours to earn her PI license, takes on a cold case involving the strange deaths of two artists. Mixing classic tropes of teen detective fiction with elements of eastern philosophy and a profound sense of the absurd, Gran takes readers on an unforgettable journey. Agent: Barney Karpfinger, Karpfinger Agency. (Sept.)