Rob Hart’s new novel, New Yorked, is a great example of why I started this blog. I had never read anything from this author before, but the word of mouth from authors I enjoy and other blogs I read put him on my radar and I am so glad that happened. I want this blog to be my contribution to getting the names of deserving authors onto the radar of like-minded readers.
Hart’s novel is gritty and real. The story centers on Ash, a true New Yorker who receives a desperate phone call from Chell, the girl of his dreams, indicating she is being followed and needs his help. In typical noir fashion, he misses her call and before he hears her message, it is too late to stop the fatal results awaiting her. Having lost his father to the terrorist attack on 9-11, he feels every tragedy needs a guilty party to ultimately be held accountable for what they have done. His quest for answers and resolution lead him through the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. He meets an interesting array of characters and his interactions with them offer great insight into the psychological makeup of Ash and what drives him to do the things he does.
Hart has a nice way with words. I felt his dialogue was realistic and that helped set his characters up to feel real and believable. A great example is Ash’s proclamation to Chell “The way you looked made me want to find religion just so I could renounce it”. Every man has that woman in his life that has made him feel this way and this helped me find a connection with the dark, destructive, yet ultimately likeable Ash.
This novel will certainly bring attention to Hart and is going to increase his name recognition among noir lovers. I am happy to see that Hart is planning on using Ash as a series character.
As for an explanation to the title, which at first I was unsure as to the meaning of, there is a snowstorm that blankets NYC. As they sit in Ash’s apartment, Chell says to him, “We should go down and play before the snow gets New Yorked”. “What (is that)?” asks Ash. “(When) it gets all dirty and slushy” explains Chell. Dirty and slushy…just like a quality noir story. This was a great introduction to Rob Hart. If you haven’t heard about him, it’s time for you to get acquainted with him. You can thank me later.