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Invisible City
Cover of Invisible City
Invisible City
Rebekah Roberts Series, Book 1
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Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she's also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah's shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD's habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can't let the story end there. But getting to the truth won't be easy—even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider.In her riveting debut Invisible City, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage.

Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she's also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah's shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD's habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can't let the story end there. But getting to the truth won't be easy—even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider.In her riveting debut Invisible City, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 24, 2014
    The secretive society of Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews provides the backdrop for Dahl’s impressive debut. Rebekah Roberts, a reporter for a New York tabloid, covers the murder of Rivka Mendelssohn, whose naked body has been found clenched in the teeth of an excavator in a Brooklyn scrap yard, whose owner, Aron Mendelssohn, a prominent Hasidic leader, happens to be the victim’s husband. As Rebekah questions the black-clad women ruled by men and God, she opens wounds left by just such a woman: her own mother, who abandoned her at birth to return to her Hasidic roots. Rebekah’s Jewishness gains her access. Because the police, for reasons of their own, are turning a blind eye on the case means she is the only one looking for answers. Dahl’s convincing dialogue and perfect pacing make for a real page-turner. And her storytelling skills illuminate the intriguing worlds of the tabloid press, Hasidism, the NYPD, and Brooklyn’s 20-somethings—as well as the fragile boundaries of family, religion, and life itself. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Andi Arndt's young voice is a fine fit for the character of Rebekah Roberts, a 20-something New York City tabloid journalist whose mother, a Hasidic Jew, ran off with a Christian, had a baby, and abandoned them to return to her Hasidic life. In covering the murder of a Hasidic woman, Rebekah, because of her Jewish heritage, is able to enter the closed society of the ultra-Orthodox. She questions not only suspects who may be involved with the gruesome murder but also her own place within the Jewish community as a non-practicing Jewish woman. Arndt is convincing when creating character voices, and her pacing in rapid dialogue exchanges is spot- on. Dahl's storytelling skills offer insights into the insular Hasidic sect, and Arndt's performance will keep listeners engaged. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    Starred review from June 15, 2014

    Dahl's debut novel takes place in an ultraorthodox neighborhood of Brooklyn. Tabloid reporter Rebekah Roberts is assigned to cover the brutal murder of a Hasidic Jewish woman. As Rebekah uncovers the secrets of the very private community, she must face her own ever-present longing for the mother who abandoned her in infancy to return to her own ultraorthodox society. Andi Arndt does an excellent job narrating. She captures Rebekah's mood changes, her loneliness, and her youthful enthusiasm for her job. VERDICT Recommended for the mystery collection of all public libraries. ["In her gripping debut mystery, veteran journalist Dahl creates an intriguing protagonist seeking justice for a victim's family as well as the truth about her own origins," read the review of the Minotaur: St. Martin's hc, LJ 5/15/14.--Ilka Gordon, Aaron Garber Lib., Cleveland

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Rebekah Roberts Series, Book 1
Julia Dahl
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