Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser
Norton • $25.95 • ISBN 9780393082999
On sale July 2, 2012

The title of Scott Lasser's fourth novel got my attention a couple of months back. The book itself had me turning the pages during a delay-filled flight to—where else—Detroit. This is a suspenseful story about homecomings, loss and second chances, as David moves back to Detroit to care for his parents only to discover that his high school girlfriend, Natalie, has been killed in a random shooting with her half brother, Dirk. As the story unfolds, it appears that the shooting may not have been quite as random as it appears, and David could be caught in the crosshairs.

Already optioned for film by Steve Carell, this book will appeal to fans of "The Wire" and The 25th Hour. It's gritty, yes, but not without hope—and humor, as shown in this extract:

"You lack the basic chattel of life—a wife, children, debt. These things give a man purpose."

Maybe, David thought, though he had had all that chattel, and look where it had got him.

His father talked on. "Most men, they get up in the morning, they go off to work, and they know why: They've got a family to feed. It's been that way forever. It drives the world. The animal world, too. You, you get up in the morning and then—why do you go off to work?"

"To make you happy," David said.

"Make me happy?" his father asked.

"Sure, so when someone says to you, 'How's David doing?' you don't have to answer, 'He's home on the couch drinking vodka from the bottle.' "

What are you reading this week?


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