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So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood

Nobel Prize winner Modiano’s neo-noir novels don’t solve a mystery so much as revel in one—or two, or 10. The more pages you read, the more mysteries pop up. His latest finds an author, Jean, meeting a stranger named Gilles, who wants to return Jean’s lost address book. There are questions from the start. Is Gilles a Good Samaritan or a crook? Why does he remind Jean of a violent event that happened long ago? As Gilles draws Jean closer, the novel is a suspenseful inquiry into memory and storytelling, including the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives. It’s the best kind of mystery, the kind that never stops haunting you. A–

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