New book: Buried on Avenue B, by Peter de Jonge ’77 (HarperCollins)
The author: A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a former reporter for the Associated Press, de Jonge co-authored three books with bestselling author James Patterson, including Beach Road (2003) and The Beach House (2006). Three years ago, he made his solo novel debut with Shadows Still Remain, which was a Washington Post Book of the Year in 2009.
The book: The main character in his first solo novel, the feisty New York homicide detective Darlene O’Hara, takes center stage again. While following up on a tip that an Alzheimer’s patient has confessed to murdering his partner and burying the body 17 years ago, O’Hara convinces her boss to allow her to have the garden where the victim is supposedly buried excavated. But in doing so the NYPD stumbles on another corpse — that of a 10-year-old boy. The discovery leads O’Hara on a path to find the boy’s killer
Opening Lines: “Darlene O’Hara sits on her rug and gazes at her twenty-one-year-old son stretched out on her couch, his red beard tilted up at one end, his pale feet hanging off the other. Two hours earlier, Axl Rose O’Hara showed up unexpectedly at the door of her Bronx apartment. He put down his overstuffed messenger bag and Fender Stratocaster, announced he had momentous news, and promptly nodded off, and as the quiet Sunday afternoon fades into a quieter evening, O’Hara steals glances across the room, stunned by the pleasure it gives her to watch her long, beautiful kid sleep.”
Reviews: Library Journal wrote, “The author’s hard-drinking, hard-living protagonist returns in a second edgy investigative thriller, which comes full circle in a stunningly creative manner. His hard-boiled prose and urban slang transports readers of serious crime fiction through gritty, harsh scenes populated with colorful characters. Another stellar read from de Jonge.” The Washington Post critic Patrick Anderson called de Jonge “a first-rate entertainer.” “He tells his story with style, a generous helping of whimsy and a sharp eye for the odd corners and myriad eccentricities of Manhattan.”
Read more: PAW’s April 29, 2009, blog story on de Jonge.