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We’re all for writers stepping outside their comfort zone (Memoirs of a Geisha was penned by an American dude, after all), but crime reporter Julia Dahl brilliantly pleads the case for sticking to what you know in her addictive debut novel, Invisible City.

Meet Manhattan tabloid reporter Rebekah Roberts. She’s investigating the murder of Rivka Mendelssohn, whose body has been found in a Brooklyn scrap yard owned by her husband, a leader in the insular Hasidic community. Rebekah thinks she’s found the scoop of her career--and a clue to her own mysterious past. (Her mother, also a Hasidic Jew, abandoned her as a newborn.)

But she quickly learns that the odds are against her solving the case: The NYPD--which relies on the Hasidic vote--has turned a blind eye, and the ultra-Orthodox community is refusing an autopsy. Indeed, the more Rebekah uncovers, the likelier it seems that someone will get away with murder.

Drawing upon her own experience tracking the 2011 case of a kidnapped Hasidic child, Dahl spins an impossible-to-put-down mystery about big-city corruption and the sacrifices made in the name of religion--all with a twist we never saw coming.

Who’s calling a movie adaptation?

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