Wednesday, November 28, 2018

#48: The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem

A high-strung New Yorker--left adrift in the wake of the recent presidential election--decides to head to California and look for a friend's missing daughter, only to land in the middle of a war between desert tribes, in Jonathan Lethem's The Feral Detective.

Lethem is seen as more of a mainstream literary author, but his novels often have genre beats, from Amnesia Moon to Motherless Brooklyn to The Fortress of Solitude.  This one riffs on detective novels, as the "feral detective" of the title helps our narrator, as she slowly learns he has a hidden backstory that ties directly into what is happening in the desert. 

A grisly discovery about a third of the way into the book catapults the novel from romp to noir, and a nail-biting finale involving a rusty Ferris Wheel satisfies.

Lethem writes a cut above the genre and can be read across all interests.  I enjoyed this tremendously and would read another if he returned to this world.  Recommended.

I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana, and read it quickly.

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