Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
by Deepa Anappara
When neighborhood children start disappearing from the slum where 9-year-old Jai lives with his sister and parents, the local police are reluctant to investigate. Inspired by his favorite detective shows, Jai decides to take the investigation into his own hands. Anappara gives readers a kaleidoscopic look at life in contemporary India. The novel doesn’t shy away from the slum’s desperate poverty, or the tragedy of the missing children, but its fully developed characters give it depth and nuance. Told in Jai’s quirky, unforgettable voice, Djinn Patrol is devastating and funny, warm and heart-wrenching.
Long Bright River
by Liz Moore
Mickey Fitzpatrick is a beat cop who works the streets of Kensington, a Philly neighborhood that has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Her sister, Kacey, is caught in a vicious cycle of addiction, and works the neighborhood as a sex worker. When someone starts murdering local women and Kacey disappears, Mickey risks everything to find her. A gritty blend of mystery and family drama.
The Best Bad Things
by Katrina Carrasco
Set in Port Townsend’s seedy underbelly in 1887, this knock-down, drag-out novel is both deeply researched and fast-paced. It follows cross-dressing Alma Rosales, also known as Jack, who arrives in Port Townsend to root out an opium smuggling ring. Alma is impulsive, hard-headed, and ferocious. In Carrasco’s capable hands, she’s also one of the most memorable characters in crime fiction.
Emily Calkins is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.