Dope

Dope

3.9 39
by Sara Gran
     
 

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From the author of Come Closer comes the most highly acclaimed-and unusual-thriller of the year. Josephine, a former addict, is offered a thousand dollars to find a suburban couple's missing daughter. But the search will take her into the dark underbelly of New York she thought she'd escaped-and a web of deceit that threatens to destroy her.See more details below

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Overview

From the author of Come Closer comes the most highly acclaimed-and unusual-thriller of the year. Josephine, a former addict, is offered a thousand dollars to find a suburban couple's missing daughter. But the search will take her into the dark underbelly of New York she thought she'd escaped-and a web of deceit that threatens to destroy her.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[An] oddly elegiac tour of the good-old, bad-old days. (New York Times Book Review)

[A] pitch-black mystery. (Washington Post)

Bruce DeSilva
"An astonishing novel, one that deserves a place of honor next to Hammett, Thompson and Chandler...one of the meanest, grittiest hard-boiled crime stories of ever written - and the first great noir novel from the mind of a woman."
Associated Press
Marilyn Stasio
"Gran treats us to a grim but oddly elegiac tour of the good-old, bad-old days."
New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
After her well-received horror tale Come Closer, you can't blame Gran for trying her hand at a 1950s noir, but her turns on stripped-down conventions are less sharp this time out. Gran's heroine, Josephine "Joe" Flannigan, is a former heroin addict and hooker who has recast herself as a petty thief and con. Working her home turf, New York City's Hell's Kitchen, she is taken up by a mysterious well-to-do couple offering her $1,000 up front and another $1,000 on delivery to find their addict daughter, expelled from Barnard and lost to the streets. The reader never actually sees Joe do any thieving or conning, because she's got that $1,000 to ride on. Instead, Joe's search for the missing coed takes her on a clich -ridden tour of the bare apartments and public parks frequented by the junkies who used to be her friends. (And it's the '50s, so teenagers listen to 45s, and black Chevrolets are still cool.) Joe's troubled relationship with little sister Shelley is a very engaging conflict, but Gran doesn't bring them together often enough. It never occurs to Joe that she may be being conned herself, and her hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold routine wears thin, but she's easy to root for. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Gran's third novel, as original and compelling as her first two (Saturn's Return to New York, 2001, etc.), is of an ex-junkie grifter, now hired to find a missing college girl in 1950 Manhattan. Josephine Flannigan is lucky to have made it to her 30s. Raised rough in Hell's Kitchen, she never expected much from life. She has scraped by, pulling small cons, shoplifting, whoring when times were particularly bad-just about anything to get enough for her next fix. Clean for the past two years, Joe cashes in the occasional ring from Tiffany to pay for her furnished room and lunch at the automat. Now a $2,000 proposition comes along-a wealthy Westchester couple is looking for their daughter, a former Barnard student, now a junkie-and who better than Joe to search every shooting gallery and dance hall likely to house a pretty young girl. They give Joe a picture of their Nadine standing with a mystery man (who turns out to be Jerry McFall, a dealer and pimp), and Joe is on the case, an unlikely though effective gumshoe. Joe begins to gather leads, touring New York's sleaziest spots, reconnecting with old friends, lifelong junkies and hustlers. She also bumps into her kid sister, Shelley, now a rising TV star. Shelley's cleaned herself up and put the past behind her, including Joe, who admits she did a lousy job as surrogate mother, putting too much junk into her arm and not enough food on Shelley's dinner plate. Her leads pay off, but no sooner does Joe find McFall than he's murdered, and the cops haul Joe in as their #1 suspect, and for good reason. Joe's been framed, the victim of a dangerous con (the Westchester couple were actors) to find McFall, and now Joe needs to uncover who set her upbefore the police book her for murder. A gripping mystery, but Gran's real success is in recreating 1950s New York-the petty cons, the taxi dancers, the dank hotel rooms-a mosaic of everything sad and ugly about addiction. Burroughs meets Hammett in this gritty, at times tragic, noir.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425214367
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/06/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
571,987
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Glamour
"May be the most surprising read this year."
Kate Atkinson
"A compulsive, dynamic read, written con brio --a perfect noir pastiche but with a life and character all its own."
Sarah Weinman
"Everything, absolutely everything, is pitch-perfect."
Detroit Free Press
"A heck of a book [with] lots of self-deprecating humor and....[a] big heart."
Richard Rayner
"A thrilling, heartbreaking journey through the heroin underbelly of 1950s New York. I was more than hooked. I was blown away."
Lee Child
"If Raymond Chandler knew then what we know now, he might have written a book like this. Highly recommended."
Robert B. Parker
"Tight and polished and exquisitely crafted."
Ken Bruen
"This is truly a major writer who can literally go in any direction she wishes and still be way ahead of anything else being published."
Jason Starr
"A breakout novel in every sense: ambitious, fast-paced, suspenseful, and important. It's also one of the most entertaining mysteries I've read in years."

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