READERS TELL ALL.
Dimberg Speaks for an Emerging (and Important) Subgenre of Crime Fiction in GIRL IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR
It was Laura Lippman who told me her newest novels, perhaps starting with After I'm Gone, are her quietest novels. I believe the term was "quiet novel," to be exact, and that's exactly what the genre is. A series of books, written mostly by the amazing women inside the crime world, allow for suspense to build from the the crackling voice of truth, or even being so near the truth, too near the truth. Other authors to consider would be Megan Abbott, Alafair Burke, Alison Gaylin, Attica Locke, Steph Cha, and a few others. For the most part, these authors now focus on the terrifying possibilities of understanding not just others, but ourselves as well. Most of the books are beyond astonishing, and while it's hard to tell where this kind of writing began, we can speak for where it is now. Currently, the new debut novelist focusing on quiet mysteries is Kelsey Rae Dimberg, author of Girl in the Rearview Mirror, coming out very, very soon.
The novel centers around Finn, a young woman who has been desperate for money but now has an enjoyable and relatively well compensated job as many for Phoenix's top family, the Martins. She falls under the spell of the youngest son of a senator, now a grown man with a wife who is chilly to the point of brain freeze, and a charming daughter with so much life in her, she becomes hard to resist. They are Philip, Marina, and Amabel respectively. This is a family she is both a part of and a stranger to. At times, Dimberg allows Finn to feel as close to home as she'd like, and then an alien to the people she spends so much time with. However, the fact which will never change is that Finn loves Amabel more than mostly anything. Dimberg excels at the best elements of the quiet crime novel: characters don't become suspicious overnight, there are no explosions or gunfire but a scene with a girl on a swing set can be one of the most terrifying scenes you ever read. Dimberg is great at unravelling not just mysteries but also people, complicated and contradictory in the best of ways, and she treats the need to understand a person and understanding a mystery as equals. Finn has a past of her own, too, and as she tries to step toward the secrets of the governor, his son's family, and a crime inevitable but terrifying, Finn finds she may have to reveal her own secret.
This is a novel I wish I'd written. Dimberg writes with a poignant and destructive sense of character, understanding