Invisible City : A Rebekah Roberts Mystery

Dahl, Julia

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Invisible City : A Rebekah Roberts Mystery
"Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she's also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah's shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD's habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can't let the story end there. But getting to the truth won't be easy--even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it's clear that she's not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider. In her riveting debut, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage"

Publisher: New York :, Minotaur Books,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 1250043395
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY DAHL...J
Characteristics: 298 pages ; 25 cm


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Jan 30, 2015
  • sunnye1988 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is all you want to know about the Hasidic Jews and too afraid to ask. Their community is secret and clannish; very few outsiders know about this sect of Jews. Thanks to author Julia Kahl we now know. There is a house that is a refuge from the strict life of the Hasidic Jews (many secular Jews are critical of the Ultra Orthodox - I'm just saying - I don't harbor ill feelings to the Hasisic community.) written in an article in the New York Times. Author Julia Dahl did her homework and done a great job. I highly recommend it.

Dec 22, 2014
  • savtadina rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The book's main character, Rebekah, is a journalist working for the New York Tribune, a populist newspaper. Rebekah's mother was a member of an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic (Jewish) sect in Brooklyn. The fled, had Rebekah (the father was not Jewish), and when Rebekah was six months old, the mother left them and returned to her roots (supposedly). Rebekah has been troubled by this all her life. She grew up in Florida but has come to NY for work, and possibly to learn more about her roots. Rebekah also has a severe anxiety problem.

The author obviously did a lot of research and was writing about something she knows. She is a journalist specializing in crime and criminal justice and worked for the NY Post and also more professional news sources. She also had a Christian father and a Jewish mother.

The story is set mostly in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn. The author does a good job of developing the main and side plots and of helping us to see the depth of several of the characters.

Since this is the first of the "Rebekah Roberts" novels with the second one due out this spring, she seems to spend a good amount of time developing the main character, Rebekah. She is not very sympathetic at first but as I learned more about her, she began to grow on me.

The one negative was the number of time she especially used the "f" word. I didn't find that it added to the story, especially the number of times it was used.

Oct 07, 2014
  • akmarti rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting mystery that injects the sensibilities of conservative Judaism in New York City and how it affects police procedures. The main character is a woman who is in search of her past. Her mother, a member of a conservative Jewish sect, left her and her father when the main character was a young child. As the mystery enfolds the woman learns about not only the Jewish faith of her mother, but also gets a lead on the whereabouts of her mother. I look forward to see what the author will do with this character in future stories.

Jul 29, 2014
  • NotAllWhoWanderAreLost rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I read this book over a weekend. I found it to be and easy, enjoyable read. For the author's debut novel it was well written and whoever did the editing did a great job. I have found that editing is becoming a lost art.

Jul 07, 2014
  • ehbooklover rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A compelling mystery with an intriguing premise and a very interesting exploration of a Hasidic community in New York City. Despite that, I found that I wasn’t a huge fan of the author’s writing style and at times I found the protagonist really unlikeable. However, I did enjoy the book overall and look forward to reading the next in the series.

Jun 11, 2014

Excellent mystery with an interesting setting. First book for this author, she is off to a great start in the series!


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