Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Invisible City: A Novel (Rebekah Roberts Novels) Hardcover – May 6, 2014
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
For 23-year-old Rebekah Roberts, a stringer for the New York Tribune, a story becomes uncomfortably personal as she seeks to get at the truth. The discovery of the naked body of Hasidic Jew Rivka Mendelssohn, found in a scrap yard owned by her well-to-do husband, brings to mind the anger and sorrow Rebekah feels toward her own mother, a Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn who took off when Rebekah was an infant. Her feelings are intensified when Saul Katz, NYPD liaison with the Hasidic community, shocks Rebekah by telling her that she looks just like her mother. As Katz provides Rebekah with inside information and urges her to pursue what is essentially the cover-up of a murder in the closed Hasidic community, she learns that her Jewish heritage goes only so far in her understanding of what she’s investigating. This novel is particularly notable for its combination of a skillfully wrought, increasingly suspenseful mystery populated by well-drawn characters and a deeply sympathetic understanding of a contemporary culture that remains insular for its own understandable reasons. Journalist Dahl’s debut sets a high bar. --Michele Leber
“Strong, blunt prose...a harrowing tale.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“An absolutely crackling, unputdownable mystery told by a narrator with one big, booming voice. I loved it.” ―GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
“[An] impressive debut…Dahl's convincing dialogue and perfect pacing make for a real page-turner. And her storytelling skills illuminate the intriguing worlds of the tabloid press, Hasidism, the NYPD, and Brooklyn's 20-somethings--as well as the fragile boundaries of family, religion, and life itself.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fast-paced, suspenseful...[Invisible City] rises above the crime-novel genre in its unusual psychological, spiritual and sociological dimensions, entering a world unfamiliar to most people.” ―The Washington Post
“Bringing together the hyenas of tabloid journalism with the secretive, inwardly focused, self-protecting religious Jews, Dahl manages to demonize and humanize both, while delivering a riveting story. I sincerely hope there will be a sequel because after reading the last page, I wanted to know: What happens next?” ―The Boston Globe
“Masterly, pitch-perfect.” ―Haaretz
“Surprising and uncompromising…This is riveting stuff indeed, and Dahl is a major talent.” ―BookPage
Top customer reviews
On top of that, the story features one of the Hasidic Jewish communities located in the borough. That's the real eye-opener of this story...the way the lead character Rebekah figures out her way around this closed community and the way it dovetails with her own past. One can tell Ms. Dahl did a lot of research about the so-called "black hats" because her story rings true and her prose is sharp and very engaging. I think you'll be charmed by Rebekah and fascinated by the closed world she enters to solve a crime and find answers to her own past. Highly recommended!!
One more note: I especially liked how Ms. Dahl did not take the easy way to lean on caricatures of the Hasidim. On the contrary, the novel provides perspective to enlighten the non-religious among us as to how this type of cult-ish community provides relief and comfort to those who follow its tenets.
The most unique aspect of the novel for me was also the most enjoyable. There is a homicide that occurs within the New York City Jewish Community. I like learning about other parts of our culture that I do not have an indepth knowledge of. I felt I learned a lot about that community. There were times, at first, that I was concerned that the novel was hard on that community. I ended up feeling that both sides of the community was presented.
Additionally, I happened to read another first novel by another female author; "The Ritual Bath" by Faye Kellerman. That novel was written in 1986. It is a criminal investigation mystery novel set in the Jewish Community in Los Angeles. I enjoyed reading both of these novels both on their own merits, but also to compare and contrast styles and time periods.
I purchased this novel on Kindle, and also audiobook at the same time. I enjoyed the audiobook. The narrator is Andi Arendt. It was well done and I could continue my reading while commuting. That makes commuting much easier for me.
I intend to read a subsequent novel of Miss Dahl. As far as this novel, It is the kind of novel that I like but would not read it again without specific cause. Thank You...
I was disappointed that the author used the terms orthodox and ultra-orthodox interchangeably--whereas in reality they are NOT the same. What I'm saying is that there was a lack of world-building. It needed to be made clear at the outset of the novel that the community was a Haredi Ultra-Orthodox community. For the reader's sake, particularly for non-Jewish readers, I would have preferred it if the author had explained specifically what that life in the Haredi community involves--good, bad and in between. It was also an incredibly negative portrait of the Haredi community, which I found unbalanced. It isn't all mental illness, abuse (sexual or otherwise) unattractive women and poverty.
Sorry, I can't recommend this book.