Best New New York Noir (2008)

Dope

In her short, sharp 2003 novel Come Closer, New York/New Orleans novelist Sara Gran erased the metropolitan specifics. Her uncanny story unfolded in a city that scanned as Gotham but could have been any bleak urban zone, drained of color by the unstable narrator's descent into demonic possession—or insanity. Switching genres, this year's terrific noir Dope leaves no doubt as to locale: We're in '50s Manhattan, following former junkie Josephine as she plays private eye, chasing down her old dope contacts to save a suburban girl gone way too wild. But nothing's what it seems in this ambitious, compact novel. With its devilish double-crossings and marvelously sustained voice, Dope leaves one twitching for another Gran fix.

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