Fiction · Julia P · Mystery · Quick Read!

Say Nice Things About Detroit | by Scott Lasser

Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser
(W.W. Norton and Company, 2012, 272 pages)

I finished this book in two days – primarily because the nature of the writing is easy to breeze through, but also because the book takes place in the area where I grew up in Michigan so it was fun to read about. The story revolves around a man named David who moved away from Detroit to live in Colorado. His father reaches out to him because David’s mother is battling dementia and his father needs him around to help. Around the same time David comes home he sees in the newspaper that his former high school girlfriend, Natalie, and her half-brother, Dirk, were murdered in Detroit. He feels compelled to reach out to her family and reconnects with her younger sister, Carolyn. They surprise each other when they realize there’s a mutual attraction.

David eventually commits to moving back to Detroit – he feels good about starting over where he came from. Things are complicated with Carolyn because she’s married and lives with her husband and child in California. The death of Dirk and Natalie remains a mystery and the book has chapters that offer flashbacks from 12 years ago when Dirk worked as an undercover FBI agent who was trying to clean up Detroit’s drug problem. There are some obvious connections but the story held my interest in spite of them.

This was an enjoyable mystery that I think would be a great travel/beach read. You’ll especially appreciate the book if you’re from around the Detroit area – you want to see this city reconnect with its former glory. It’s already made considerably progress…


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