A couple of cops with a heavy workload and few solutions, the title characters of this novel search for criminal activity with the plotting approach of editors rather than the plodding of Scotland Yard detectives. Their London is dark, redolent with horrors and mysteries both petty and surreal. The detectives impose law and order, though they cannot affect the troubles that haunt them as individuals. They patrol the book’s various narratives, appearing by routine, surprise, and by chance, an approach that underscores their motivations as police while allowing room for the strange, comical, and intriguing to enter.
— Frankie Caracciolo, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
The Jamaican novel that recently claimed the Booker Prize deservers all of its accolades. “A Brief History of Seven Killings” is a magisterial novel that speaks loudly and carries a big stick. James takes the 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley as the occasion to tell a complex, polyphonous story of Jamaica’s troubled recent history, filled with gangsters and ghosts, CIA agents and communists, lovers, killers, and survivors. It’s like a Bolaño novel set in Kingston, mixed with James Ellroy and distilled through Faulkner, but make no mistake — it is also something entirely terrifying and visceral and new.
— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
Word’s pick: “Another Day” by David Levithan
We lurved his novel “Every Day,” and now David Levithan returns to the story of teenage lovers A and Rhiannon. This time he shifts perspective — in “Another Day” we get to meet A through Rhiannon’s eyes. A wakes up in a different body every day of their life, and from their perspective it is normal. But for Rhiannon, it sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel. We grow with her as she experiences love (and heartbreak) that may not make sense to the brain, but that tugs at the heart anyway. It is such a treat to revisit A and Rhiannon’s world.
— Emily Pullen, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr