Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lush Life by Richard Price (Book Review)

Lush Life is a gritty police procedural novel set in New York's Lower East Side.

However, that capsule summary doesn't nearly do the book justice, for the murder investigation and detective plot elements, while essential to the novel, are merely the underpins from which the author is able to evoke a fully realized tale of how a singular, even random event -- in this case a robbery that unexpectedly results in murder -- reverberates far beyond the immediate characters involved, to their families and friends, to the police working the investigation, to the nearby shopkeepers and merchants, and ultimately through the whole neighborhood and community.

The text is further distinguished by outstanding characterization and crisp, authentic dialogue.

Highly recommended.

Note - It was only after I was finishing this post that I stumbled across this Slate piece that mentioned that Lush Life is on President Obama's Summer Reading List. I guess the secret is out, but I'd be happy to send him more recommendations!

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