Sarah's Reviews > Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
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Aug 26, 2011

it was amazing
Read in August, 2011

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Really probably a 4.5 star book, but Good Reads is annoying, so I chose to round up.

Here's what I didn't really love about the book. Claire Dewitt herself was not really an original character. Tough girl detective - already been done. The ending - well, yeah, it was a tad disappointing. At the same time, I'm pretty sure it was intentional on the author's part, considering the theme of the book. (My third dislike was entirely a personal one – living in Knoxville and living through the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom murders and subsequent trials, I have a particular aversion to wet blunts. I will never be able to mentally separate a wet blunt from those awful acts, and Claire enjoys them quite a bit through the story.)

With those little bits out of the way, it was a great book. Post-Katrina New Orleans was a prominent character in the story. At the same time, the novel was almost a requiem, or a tale of unrequited love, for New Orleans. It was also probably the most honest mystery I've ever read, for indeed the truth is always uglier than we want it to be and we really don't want the answer, no matter our exclamations to the contrary.

I know another reviewer already mentioned this quotation, but I found it beautiful and remarkably spot-on: ""Some people I saw, had drowned right away. And some people were drowning in slow motion, drowning a little bit at a time and would be drowning for years. And some people, like Mick, had always been drowning. They just hadn't known what to call it until now."

It was an off-beat, rather non-traditional mystery novel and well worth the short time it takes to read it. And yes, Judy Ward, it’s another one of those great stories hidden behind a yellow cover!
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