cover image City of Lies

City of Lies

R.J. Ellory. Overlook, $26.95 (464p) ISBN 978-1-59020-465-8

In this outstanding noir from British author Ellory (A Quiet Belief in Angels), Miami hack journalist John Harper, drinking less, believing in God less, but still unable to recapture the muse that inspired his first and only novel eight years earlier, is called back to New York City, scene of his bitter childhood and now the Faustian arena for a deadly gangland game where everyone but Harper knows the rules. While Edward “Lenny” Bernstein, the father Harper never knew, lies near death, shot trying to stop a holdup, Frank Duchaunak, a cop obsessed with nabbing Bernstein for financing mafia-style crimes, prowls the hospital, like a good angel, warning Harper to leave—immediately. Covertly bribing him to stay are Walt Freiburg, Bernstein’s consigliere with his own plans for gang leadership, and Freiburg’s crony, the secretive, beautiful Cathy Hollander. Ellory’s burning insights into Harper’s everyman insecurities drive this thriller beyond sordid crime fiction into the darkest recesses of the human heart. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)