City on Fire Garth Risk Hallberg
This is a mammoth book running in at well over 900 pages. Each one is carefully crafted a takes the reader on several journeys, I think each of which may have made a good book on their own.
Set in the mid 70’s New York my baby boomer generation saw as a gang ridden dangerous city, where big money lived next to ghettos, where the music scene was in full swing, as disco was giving way to punk.
Hallberg could not have chosen a better city to paint his literary tapestry, nor better people to use as his characters.
The book introduces us to a diverse set of characters that seem entirely unrelated; but as a blizzard hit New York prepares to ring in 1977 two shots ring out.
The investigation into the shooting brings more characters into the story. Like cogs in an engine they all play their role, the actions of one inadvertently affecting those of others. Eventually the cogs start to rotate as one, and during the Blackout of July 1977 a revelation.
If you like Edward Rutherfurd’s style of writing; but prefer Ed McBain’s stories this book will be perfect for you.
If, like me, you love a good book then this one is definitely for you, but be prepared its long and it doesn’t get put down very often.