Run You Down

  • Review
By – May 19, 2015

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 sui​cide​.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.

Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams, mom, grand­mom, avid read­er, some­time writer, born in Havana, raised in Brook­lyn, resid­ing in Long Beach on Long Island. Long­time for­mer One Region One Book chair and JBC liai­son for Nas­sau Hadas­sah, cur­rent­ly pre­sent­ing Inci­dent at San Miguel with author AJ Sidran­sky who wrote the his­tor­i­cal fic­tion based on her Cuban Jew­ish refugee family’s expe­ri­ences dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion. Flu­ent in Span­ish and Hebrew, cer­ti­fied hatha yoga instructor.

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