Published by Faber & Faber
Available in ebook and hardback 20 September 2018 | Paperback 6 June 2019
My thanks to Josh of Faber & Faber for the invitation to take part and for providing the extract.
| About the Book |
Driven off the desert road and left for dead, Claire DeWitt knows that it is someone from her past trying to kill her, she just doesn’t know who. Making a break for it from the cops who arrive on the scene, she sets off in search of the truth, or whatever version of it she can find. But perhaps the biggest mystery of all lies deeper than that, somewhere out there on the ever rolling highway of life.
Set between modern day Las Vegas and LA, The Infinite Blacktop sees Claire at her lowest point yet, wounded and disorientated, but just about hanging on.
Too smart for her own good, too damaged to play by the rules, too crazy for most – have you got what it takes to follow the self-appointed ‘best detective in the world’?
THE CLUE OF THE CHARNEL HOUSE
The Case of the Drowned Girl was closed.
I knew the girl in the water. She was a year younger than me. Her heart was burnt black and I couldn’t help but think, after fourteen years of burning, she was likely better off where she was.
Kelly and Tracy and I had worked the case together. We were fifteen. We were detectives. It was a ninety-degree night in July when we found her in the warm water of the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn’s most shameful body of water, face-down, tiny frame floating in a cloud of fabric from a white dress, dark skin gleaming, black hair spread around her like seaweed.
We laid it all out for the NYPD detective who showed up hours after the beat cops and the coroner. We knew dawn would break, at least, before anyone other than us cared about the girl in the canal.
But when the detective showed up and we spelled it out for her—the stepfather, the mother, the suicide, the other kid still in the house— we realized it would be many, many dawns before anyone cared about the girl in the canal. It would be until the earth wilted, until time stopped, until the sun burned itself to a handful of dust, until Judgment Day came and we were raised from our coffins and canals and back-alleys and bedrooms, until we were called up to heaven and then maybe, someone would care about the fucking girl in the canal.
Or more likely, at the end of time, our points would be added up and our time cards punched and tests given and we would all of us be found to be just as disposable as we were right now.
Dawn came and went. Then noon. I went home and tried to sleep. I couldn’t sleep and soon I got up again, and started drinking. It was late afternoon.
That girl was just like me. Just like me and no one missed her.
Eight hours later I was alone in the playground, lying on a bench above a pile of broken bottles that maybe I had broken, so drunk I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten there. I couldn’t stop crying and shaking and bleeding. I’d cut myself, I saw, with the broken glass.
Now I remembered: Yes; that was why I had broken it. To be done.
No one would miss me, either.
But two people did miss me. And they saved me.
| About the Author |
Sara Gran is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, including Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Come Closer and Dope. She also writes for film and TV, including ’Southland’ and ’Chance’, and has published in The New York Times, The New Orleans Times Picayune and USA Today.