Digging Deeper

A cemetery and ex-socialite.

If you know anything about author Cornelia Read, now a New Hampshire resident, you know that the main character in her three books — Madeline Dare — has pretty much the same backstory as Read herself. They are both “runaway socialites,” who have, as Read once put it, “money so old there’s none left.”

One way they differ, Read says, is that her protagonist is a lot quicker with a one-liner. Read Read’s latest thriller, “Invisible Boy,” [Grand Central Publishing, $24.99] and you will find lots of one-liners — so many of them, in fact, it’s a bit of a turn-off. Just when you think you can’t read another snarky (and often R-rated) comment, the plot takes a turn that deepens the character and brings the story to a whole new level.

Snarkiness, the reader finds, has covered an emotional vulnerability and complexity that is revealed after Dare discovers the skeleton of a brutalized three-year-old boy in a long-forgotten family cemetery outside Manhattan. Written mostly in dialogue, the book then follows Dare as she tries to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, along the way examining her own troubled personal history and witnessing the class and racial warfare rampant in New York City during the early 1990s. “Invisible Boy” is a well-told tale, worthy of your time.

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