Julia Dahl’s Invisible City provides a fascinating look into the Ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. Rebekah Roberts is a brand new stringer reporter for a New York tabloid. She is thrilled to have a newspaper job so soon after graduating from college in Florida. New York is pretty new to her, but she is learning fast. One of the stories she is sent to cover ends up involving a suspicious death in New York’s Hasidic community. Rebekah has some tenuous ties to the Jewish community and is swept into covering a fast-breaking story that was supposed to remain under wraps. There are lots of suspenseful moments and some interesting plot twists, but the theme that moves the book along is the tension felt by members of the Ultra-Orthodox community who can’t or won’t go with the program. Rebekah Roberts is a sympathetic character who is brave and curious, even as she makes rookie mistakes. Add to that her own back story and conflicted feelings about the demands of the Hasidic community, and Julia Dahl provides an excellent crime novel.
I am happy to recommend this book and to report that the author has already written a second book in what looks to be a thoughtful and intelligent series.