A woman must confront what may lie in her memory’s gaps as she investigates what happened to her dead best friend a decade earlier.
For the past 10 years, Lindsay has lived with the grief of her best friend’s suicide. Edie was the life of the party and only 23 when she was found dead with a gun in her hand in her Brooklyn loft in 2009. As the anniversary of the suicide gets closer, Lindsay meets up with Sarah, an old member of her and Edie’s “beautiful little hipster clique.” When Sarah offhandedly mentions a detail about that night that Lindsay remembers completely differently, Lindsay realizes there are blanks in her memory from that time—something that's not uncommon when it comes to the boozy party years of her early 20s. Using skills she’s honed in her job as a magazine fact checker, Lindsay begins an investigation into the circumstances of Edie’s death, first realizing that it was probably a murder and then that she was somehow involved. Can Lindsay handle figuring out who was responsible, even if it means the killer is her? Bartz (Stuff Hipsters Hate, 2010) has written a novel that is as much a portrait of post-recession Brooklyn hipster ennui as it is a thriller; unfortunately, it’s also a reminder of how insufferable hipsters could be. It’s hard to tell if Bartz wants readers to take Lindsay’s and her friends’ “like”-peppered speech and emotional immaturity as pointed social commentary or as genuine characterization. Equally problematic is Bartz’s near-constant reliance on exposition through dialogue, even at the novel’s climax; it weighs what should be a zippy plot down like an anchor.
Readers nostalgic for Pabst Blue Ribbons and Molly-fueled ragers should enjoy the world Bartz creates here; those looking for a terse thriller might turn elsewhere.