BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Those Who Knew by Idra Novey [in Booklist]

“In the aging port city of an island nation near the start of the new millennium,” Idra Novey (Ways to Disappear) introduces her taut, haunting novel, giving it a foreboding sense of taking place anywhere close, anytime near. Student activist Maria P. has been dead a week when her sweater turns up in Lena’s bag. Panicked, Lena, a college professor distanced from her wealthy family, calls her friend Olga, proprietor of the Seek the Sublime or Die book (and weed) shop, to test the theory that Maria’s accidental death was anything but, and that Victor, the island’s political darling, is to blame. Lena and Olga already know too much, as does Victor’s gay playwright brother.

In a nation still recovering from a brutal dictatorship, silence and survival remain interlinked, but murder (or not) must be confronted. Veteran narrator Kirsten Potter delivers her usual capable performance with her distinct e-nun-ci-a-tion, which is more exacting than electric. That articulation, at least, ensures you won’t miss a single word of Novey’s terse, indelible, exquisitely well-timed latest.

Review: “Media,” Booklist Online, January 3, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2018


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