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Invisible City    by Julia Dahl order for
Invisible City
by Julia Dahl
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's an intriguing new mystery lead - in Invisible City, crime journalist Julia Dahl introduces Rebekah Roberts, a recent college graduate who works as a stringer (without job security or benefits) for the Tribune in New York City. The story brings the challenges and frustrations of that job to vivid life as well as giving readers a window into the world of ultra-orthodox Jews.

Rebekah's own mother was a Hasidic Jew who left Brooklyn and fell in love with her Christian dad 'during a period of teenage rebellion.' She returned to her faith after her daughter was born, leaving husband and newborn baby - and a hurt that never healed. Rebekah lives with her roommate Iris (also a journalism major) and is involved with bar manager Tony. As the mystery opens, Rebekah heads to a crime scene - a woman's naked body has been found in a scrap yard.

As the story develops, Rebekah is given information by an older cop, Saul Katz, who knew her mother (whom she resembles). They work together on the case. Saul tells her that domestic violence tends to be kept within the community whose members believe that 'speaking to the authorities about another Jew is a sin against the community.' And the dead woman's husband gives large donations to both the community's own quasi-police force and the city. He has not even been questioned.

There are many surprises for Rebekah as she digs deeper into what has happened - and learns more about what her own mother's life must have been like. And the biggest surprise of all almost gets her killed. Invisible City is an excellent debut and I'm looking forward to the second in the series, Run You Down, which will be available soon.

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