A crime novel full of gritty, urban detail | AspenTimes.com

A crime novel full of gritty, urban detail

Title: Lush LifeAuthor: Richard PricePublisher: Farrar, Straus, and GirouxPrice: $26

The latest novel by Richard Price, Lush Life, revolves around a New York City crime and its aftermath. The books deeper subject, however, is the landscape of the citys Lower East Side, as Price peels back the layers of a complex urban landscape.Through juxtaposed scenes the novel weaves together the worlds of the killer, the victim and their respective families, as well as the cops in the midst of the everyday chaos of an ethnically mixed urban environment.Not tonight, my man, are the final words of bartender Ike Marcus before he is gunned down in an apparent mugging.As the investigation unfolds, police detective Matty Clark wades through varying eyewitness accounts of the shooting, which lead to dead-ends. Clark focuses on failed writer and now-restaurant manager Eric Cash, who was at the shooting. Price also follows the lives of Tristan Acevedo, the teenage shooter, and Billy, Ikes father, who cannot cope with the loss of his son and desperately wants to be involved in the investigation. Price gives the reader a kaleidoscopic range of perspectives, capturing ambitions and resentments and calamities shared by characters whose lives converge through random events.Perhaps its the screenplay writer in Price, but the pace of the novel drags through the second half, bogged down by intense dialogue, minute details and extraneous subplots.As with a good film, however, readers will become thoroughly absorbed in this novel and forget they are reading a work of fiction. Price creates an engrossing sense of chaos and reveals an authentic neighborhood texture that propel this urban crime tale.

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