Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Award-winning Dahl is a journalist specializing in crime and criminal justice. This is her third Rebekah Roberts novel (after Run You Down, 2015). Feeling stifled in her job at New York City's sleaziest tabloid, Rebekah begins to investigate a possible wrongful conviction that has resulted in the imprisonment of a teenage boy for 22 years for the brutal murder of his family in the summer of 1992, a year after the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn between black and Jewish neighbors. In answer to why she writes about things most people would rather not think about, Dahl says, Crime is what we call the evil we do to each other. This evil must be witnessed, and it must be chronicled. Conviction is a compelling, cleverly named chronicle in which Rebekah holds herself to an extraordinarily high standard of ethical behavior. She takes on community and religious leaders, the NYPD, a very popular female prosecutor, and her own mother to find justice for DeShawn Perkins. Dahl, too, holds herself to an exacting standard in constructing a carefully wrought narrative. The inclusion of historical malfeasance, including the Central Park Five, lends veracity to a tale that has at its heart the very meaning of power and poverty, justice, family, and, best of all, hope. Timely and perfect for twenty- and thirtysomething fans of Megan Abbott and Lisa Lutz.--Murphy, Jane Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In Dahl's outstanding third novel featuring Brooklyn freelance reporter Rebekah Roberts (after 2015's Run You Down), Rebekah agrees to help DeShawn Perkins, who claims he's innocent of the crime that sent him to prison at age 16-murdering his foster parents and foster sister in 1992. DeShawn claims that a cop, who unquestioningly accepted a crack addict's ID of him, coerced his confession. The narrative alternates between the original murder investigation in Crown Heights, where riots pitted Orthodox Jews and black residents against each other, and Rebekah's present-day sleuthing in the quickly gentrifying neighborhood. Many of the case's original players are still out there, including Rebekah's formerly Orthodox ex-cop friend, Saul Katz; the woman in line to be the next Brooklyn DA; and the highly dubious eyewitness, all of whom have something to fear from Rebekah's probing. Dahl excels at revealing the inner workings of enigmatic subcultures while maintaining peak suspense. She also provides a terrific "whoa, I didn't see that coming" moment. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
In 1992, a young black family was brutally murdered in a neighborhood already reeling from the Crown Heights riots between the African American and Hasidic Jewish communities. The family's teenage foster son was quickly arrested and convicted, and no one looked back. Twenty-two years later, DeShawn continues to proclaim his innocence when freelance reporter Rebekah Roberts takes a chance on his case. She quickly uncovers missing evidence and lying eyewitnesses as the holes in the case grow. If DeShawn is innocent, the real killer is still out there and willing to protect his interests at all costs. The historical and present-day narratives are equally compelling, and together create a heartbreaking and realistic story. Dahl's crime reporting background pays off, combining just the right amount of detail with a fast-moving pace and a fascinating glimpse into an insular world. Verdict Newcomers to this award-winning series can jump right in with this installment, and be eager to read about Rebekah's earlier investigations (Invisible City; Run You Down). The unsettling coercion of a confession from a teenage suspect could make this a good suggestion for fans of the show Making a Murderer. A surefire winner for any mystery or suspense fan. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/16.]-Emily Byers, Salem P.L., OR © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Hard-bitten tabloid reporter Rebekah Roberts returns to investigate a decades-old triple murder case in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, finding not only a potential wrongful conviction, but also some disquieting revelations close to her own home.Despite her admirable track record for thawing cold murder cases, Roberts is still stringing for the bottom-feeding New York Tribune, camping outside a movie mogul's Tribeca apartment building one day and haranguing a Kings County DA candidate about missed child support the next. Rebekah's hope that somebody, somewhere in this city must be doing real journalism is consummated when she meets a Brooklyn-based blogger who closely tracks every homicide in the five boroughs. Through this blogger, Rebekah sees a handwritten letter from a convict named DeShawn Perkins who insists he was wrongfully convicted of slaughtering a black Crown Heights family in the summer of 1992. What really grabs Rebekah's attention is that one of the detectives working the case was Saul Katz, who is now the boyfriend of Rebekah's long-estranged mother, Aviva, who abandoned Rebekah as a child and hid deep within Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community. (Rebekah's fraught relationship with her mother is chronicled in Dahl's two previous mysteries, Invisible City (2014) and 2015's Run You Down.) Juggling time frames more than 20 years apart, Dahl's lean, hard narrative unravels a sad, squalid, and all-too-timely tale of deception in high and low places, deeply embedded racial animosities, and judicial mischief plausible enough to make readers wonder anew how many real-life DeShawns are in similar circumstances. Dahl shows great command over the darker, creepier elements of her genre and will keep you reading by her deft yet unobtrusive deployment of plot twistsand there are many of these going off like small explosives along the way. The novel's authenticity is enhanced by Dahl's painfully spot-on grievances about the deteriorating newspaper industry and her cogent observations about Brooklyn in both its post-millennium growth and its past liveswhich somehow never seem all that far in the past. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.