Review: Dope by Sara Gran

Since this book generated so much buzz around the agent circle (Miss Snark talked about it, and that’s enough for me) I decided to stick it on my 2007 list. And since it was so small and attractive (only 256 pages and 56,000 words), I thought it should go up on the top of my list for this year.

And can I just say I’m glad I made sure to read it. A great mystery, a great tour around 50’s New York City, and wonderful prose.

Summary from Booklist
It's 1950, and former heroin addict and hooker Josephine Flannigan (Joe or Joey to her friends) has been going straight for two years. She still boosts jewelry from department stores, but for her, she's practically living square. When a wealthy Long Island couple hires her to help find their daughter, whose own dope habit led her astray from Barnard, Flannigan has an opportunity for a new kind of score. Her search takes her through flophouses and shooting galleries, dance halls and whorehouses--and her own past as well. Flannigan is a well-conceived and original heroine, likable herself and keenly sympathetic to all the little crooked people who constitute her world. Her voice doesn't quite sound like a streetwise ninth-grade dropout--and a few more convincing details would help us believe her bleak background--but those quibbles shouldn't keep anyone from reading this book. Good plot twists and a great noir ending seal the deal. Gran's previous books (Saturn's Return to New York, 2001; Come Closer, 2003) are in very different styles; perhaps she's finding herself in crime. Keir Graff Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Read the book, yo.