Visitation Street
Do judge a book by its ominous cover. (author photo by Justin Newell)

Inaccessible by subway and quarantined by the BQE, Red Hook is arguably more insular than anywhere else in the city--and the ideal setting for an eerie new mystery you must read.

Visitation Street, the second novel from Brooklyn native Ivy Pochoda (of The Art of Disappearing fame), gives us just that: a chilling story that could only take place on these industrial, waterlogged streets in the pre-Fairway days of 2006.

On a sweltering summer night, two teenage girls head out into the New York harbor on an inflatable raft, looking for adventure. But only one comes back--washed up under a pier and semiconscious with no memory of what transpired.

Suddenly, everyone around the neighborhood is involved, from the well-meaning Lebanese bodega owner to the unhinged Juilliard dropout who haunts the local bar. Most eyes, though, are on the other side of the neighborhood, the housing projects, and a particularly troubled teen within them.

Pochoda’s characters are unique and her plot twists are appropriately heart-stopping. But it’s her voice--equal parts gritty and lyrical--that really does Red Hook right.

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