Invisible City by Julia Dahl

Invisible CityRebekah Roberts never knows how to answer the question, “Are you Jewish?” It’s true that her mother was Hasidic, so by Jewish law, the answer is yes. But her mother also left her baby (and her Christian boyfriend) when Rebekah was just 6 months old. So now, at 22, Rebekah knows nothing of her heritage, her mother, or the faith that claims her; until, that is, she finds herself embroiled in a murder case involving a Jewish woman from her mother’s old neighborhood.

These days, Rebekah is a “stringer”, an on-call reporter for an NYC tabloid. Her job – show up at crime scenes and try to get the scoop on whatever the case of the minute is. This morning it’s the discovery of a naked woman on a scrap heap in Brooklyn.

When the police release the body to her family with very little investigation and no autopsy, Rebekah knows that something is up. Who has the power and pulled strings to get the NYPD to ignore the obvious murder of a young wife and mother? Why won’t anyone talk to either the press or the police? And who is Saul Katz, the (most of the time) Orthodox cop who says he knows who she is and that he knew her mother?

Pressing for answers, Rebekah finds herself struggling to understand the customs and faith behind an ultra-conservative and very insulated community that would rather bury the ugliness than trust outsiders with their business. And not all of Rebekah’s questions are about murder. Who are these people – her people – who recognize her, but are as good as foreigners to her?

Julia Dahl’s debut novel will keep the reader turning pages even as she lifts the veil for a peek at a society that few “goyim” (non-Jews) will ever glimpse much less understand.

Find and reserve this book in the catalog.


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