Title: Lush Life
Author: Richard Price
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, March 2008
Summary: I am not a reader of crime stories – but from now on I plan to make an exception for the works of Richard Price. His latest explores the ‘butterfly effect’ of a seemingly random murder on the Lower East side, and turns a sharp, unflinching eye on the trendy hipsters and the urban poor that live there.
As you follow detectives on the trail of the killer, you meet characters you’ll not soon forget: The getting-too-old-for-this restaurant host simmering with resentment, the grieving father who in his desire to help only hinders police efforts, and a young street kid ground down by unwanted responsibilities. Written with a gritty, pull-no-punches realism, this book is a haunting story of two worlds that co-exist, but rarely intertwine.
Who will like this book: People who like detective stories that are more about character than procedure. Fans of the HBO series The Wire.
If you like this, try this: Clockers by Richard Price. For a different take on Lower East Side bohemia, try the adventurous No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew it Cauze Bill Bailey ain’t Never Coming Home Again by Eduardo Vega Yunque.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian