Tag Archives: crime thriller

Survival of the City. My Sweet Girl.

 
                    
Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation – Edward Glaeser & David Cutler

Cities can make us sick. They always have – diseases spread more easily when more people are close to one another. And disease is hardly the only ill that accompanies urban density. Cities have been demonized as breeding grounds for vice and crime from Sodom and Gomorrah on. But cities have flourished nonetheless because they are humanity’s greatest invention, indispensable engines for creativity, innovation, wealth, and connection, the loom on which the fabric of civilization is woven. But cities now stand at a crossroads. During the global COVID crisis, cities grew silent as people worked from home – if they could work at all. The normal forms of socializing ground to a halt. How permanent are these changes? Advances in digital technology mean that many people can opt-out of city life as never before. Will they? Are we on the brink of a post-urban world? City life will survive but individual cities face terrible risks, argue Edward Glaeser and David Cutler, and a wave of urban failure would be absolutely disastrous. In terms of intimacy and inspiration, nothing can replace what cities offer. Great cities have always demanded great management, and our current crisis has exposed fearful gaps in our capacity for good governance. It is possible to drive a city into the ground, pandemic or not. David Cutler, co-author of Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation discusses the book with Norman B.

My Sweet Girl – Amanda Jayatissa

Dark thriller. Psychological whodunit. Chilling and shocking. Witty and wicked. These are just some of the descriptions that have been used to describe My Sweet Girl the new novel by Sri Lanka-based author, Amanda Jayatissa. Her delightfully charming and smiley demeanor is at odds with Amanda’s deliciously scary, compelling, and original book. In our Zoom conversation, she breaks into fits of laughter, gesticulating madly as if it’s only by chance she has penned such a stunning read. My Sweet Girl is centered on the meaning of identity and all the layers it can have. This is the story of Paloma who thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage and made it to America. But, she finds out no matter how far you run, your past catches up with you. At thirty years old and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, she decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America – that is until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country. Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there’s no body – and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place. Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before? 

We round out the show with some dark, deep dub courtesy of Infernal Sounds out of Stoke-on-Trent in the UK with Frenchless and 3C 273. Enjoy!

Show 441

A Good Work By A Good Writer. For The Reader, What Luck!*

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. This is the scenario of The Witch Elm, the riveting new novel by top suspense writer, Tana French. The Dublin-based writer is receiving thunderous applause for her first stand-alone novel, including, Stephen King who we quote for our headline. We are very pleased to welcome Tana back for her third appearance on Life Elsewhere.

*Stephen King, the New York Times Book Review

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Show #295