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William Boyle. Gravesend (Pegasus, $17.00)
In this masterful work of neo-noir, William Boyle expertly captures the grit and desperation of a neighborhood in flux, and spotlights the neighbors who find themselves caught up in the crimes of the past.It’s been sixteen years since “Ray Boy” Calabrese’s actions led to the death of a young man. The victim’s brother, Conway D’Innocenzio, is now a 29-year-old Brooklynite wasting away at a local Rite Aid, stuck in the past and drawn into a darker side of himself when he hears that Ray Boy’s has been released. But even with the perfect plan in place, Conway can’t bring himself to take the ultimate revenge.Meanwhile, failed actress Alessandra returns to her native Gravesend after the death of her mother, torn between a desperate need to escape immediately back to LA and the ease with which she sinks back into neighborhood life. Alessandra and Conway are walking eerily similar paths—staring down the rest of their lives, caring for their aging fathers, lost in the youths they squandered—and each must decide what comes next.In the tradition of American noir authors like Dennis Lehane and James Ellroy, William Boyle’s Gravesend brings the titular neighborhood to life in this story of revenge, desperation, and escape.