NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - The Washington Post - The Boston Globe - The Economist - The Globe and Mail - BookPage - Kirkus Reviews On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. Read more...
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - The Washington Post - The Boston Globe - The Economist - The Globe and Mail - BookPage - Kirkus Reviews On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes. But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift. Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder--a "ghettoside" killing, one young black man slaying another--and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities--and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped. Praise for Ghettoside "A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times "Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it."--Los Angeles Times "Moving and engrossing."--San Francisco Chronicle "Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men's lives."--USA Today "Functions both as a snappy police procedural and--more significantly--as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy's powerful testimony demands respectful attention."--The Boston Globe "Gritty, heart-wrenching . . . Everyone needs to read this book."--Michael Connelly "Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness."--Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
" Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled--but bone-deep--outrage in her new book. . . . The most important book about urban violence in a generation."--The Washington Post "Riveting . . . This timely book could not be more important."--Associated Press
"Leovy's relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights--and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that 'black lives matter.' "--The New York Times Book Review "A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide . . . an important book, which deserves a wide audience."--Hari Kunzru, The Guardian From the Hardcover edition.
Audio: Whale of a tale
Richard Price set out to write a slick, quick police procedural using the pseudonym Harry Brandt. But what emerged four years later was The Whites, an intricate Price-perfect crime novel set in his signature stark, gritty urban landscape, filled with fully imagined characters with pasts and passions that resonate in the present. NYPD Detective Billy Graves anchors the story. Demoted to Manhattan night watch because he accidentally shot a Hispanic boy a decade ago, he’s still involved with the “Wild Geese,” his band of brother cops who shared their glory days working the mean streets of the East Bronx. Each of these cops, Billy included, has one case that still festers, one malicious, evil perp who didn’t get what he deserved, and each one is obsessed with getting Ahab-esque revenge on that Melvillian white whale (hence, the book’s title). More edgy, high-octane subplots play in as Price explores the gray areas, the moral ambiguities of these cops’ inner lives. The dialogue, a Price specialty, is spot-on, and narrator Ari Fliakos nails every voice, every cadence, every distinct New York accent.
BLACK MEN DOWN
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, Jill Leovy’s extraordinary exposé of how black-on-black murder in our urban centers is handled—or mishandled—could be seen as the nonfiction flip side of a Richard Price novel. It has heroes, a very few committed LAPD detectives who won’t let a murder go unsolved; deftly drawn portraits of victims and their grief-haunted families with empty eyes; gang members who kill without remorse and younger almost-
accidental killers; and witnesses who risk their lives to come forward. But Leovy, who covered crime for the Los Angeles Times and embedded herself with a precinct in Watts, isn’t just telling gripping stories. Her in-depth, years-long research offers a reality check, especially vital now, and an inconvenient truth: Letting the vast majority of murders of black men go unsolved, letting our criminal justice system fail, says that murdering black men is OK, that we (and it’s a big we) will let this plague continue.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Every publisher in the English-speaking world, and well beyond, has been looking for the next Gone Girl. And The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins’ best-selling domestic thriller, may be it. It may also be one of the best suspense audios of the year. Hawkins’ cleverly plotted tale keeps listeners slightly off-kilter. Her three narrators, Rachel, Megan and Anna, given voice by three excellent readers, are unreliable in different ways. Rachel’s messy, blackout-filled alcoholism has left her a voyeur, peering out the train window every day at Megan, half of the “golden couple” whose life she covets. Rachel makes cringe-producing attempts to get attention from her former husband, now married to Anna and living down the street from Megan. When Megan goes missing and a media cyclone follows, bleary Rachel feels compelled to get involved. In non-spoiler mode, that’s all I’ll say about this oddly connected trio. But I can say that a diabolical twist awaits.