Rebekah Roberts, heroine of Julia Dahl’s previous novel, Invisible City, is a crime journalist called upon to investigate the suspicious death of Pessie, a young Hasidic mother who is said to have committed suicide.It is difficult to get solid information about the suspected homicide case from members of the insular upstate New York community where Pessie lived. Meanwhile, Rebekah has been considering reaching out to her estranged mother, Aviva, who abandoned her when she was an infant. Aviva had left the Brooklyn Hasidic fold, running off with a kind and loving Lutheran man, who then raised Rebekah alone.
Rebekah is still reeling from trauma stemming from the case she had solved in Invisible City. She suffers from depression, which has affected her work and social life. With the support of a close friend and some new alliances she makes, Rebekah slowly makes connections and gathers the clues she needs to solve the unfolding mysteries of Pessies death, Aviva’s runaway life, and what became of her uncle Sam, Aviva’s younger brother who also rebelled against the Hasidic community. Through Rebekah’s detective work, she learns more about the strictures of her mother’s family life and Aviva’s struggle to find peace and love outside it.
Run You Down is a fast-paced read with insights into Jewish ultra-Orthodoxy and those who long to leave it. There is also suspicion regarding a white supremacist leader and his familial connection to the police department. These two seemingly different paths are destined to cross violently in this novel, a peek over the clever reporter’s shoulder as she figures out her case’s surprising connections.