Featured Book from the Recreational Reading Collection

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The recreational reading (McNaughton) collection is located on the 2nd floor of the library under the staircase

China Miéville, The City & The City, (Del Rey Ballantine Books, 2009) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor)   PR6063.I265C58 2009  

Fantasy author Miéville (Looking for Jake, 2005) puts his own unique spin on the detective story. Inspector Tyador Borlu, a lonely police detective, is assigned to the murder of a young woman found dumped in a park on the edge of Beszel, an old city, decaying and mostly forgotten, situated in an unspecified area on the southeastern fringes of Europe. But Beszel does not exist alone; it shares much of the same physical space with Ul Qoma. Each city retains a distinct culture and style, and the citizenry of both places has elaborate rules and rituals to avoid the dreaded Breach, which separates the two across space and time. This unique setting becomes one of the most important and well-developed characters in the novel, playing a pivotal role in the mystery when Tyador discovers that his murder case is much more complex than a dumped body, requiring “international” cooperation with the Ul Qoman authorities. Eschewing the preliminary world-building techniques of many fantasy books, Miéville dumps the reader straight into Tyador’s world of crosshatching and unseeing, only gradually developing and explaining his one-of-a kind setting. Suggest to readers who enjoyed Michael Chabon’s alternate-history mystery, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007), or to fans of the futuristic urban setting in A. L. Martinez’s Automatic Detective (2008). An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans. –Jessica Moyer

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