Rebekah Roberts

Created by Julia Dahl

Frustrated by her work at the New York Tribune, arguably the city’s sleaziest tabloid (Boy! That’s sleazy!), ambitious rookie reporter REBEKAH ROBERTS is more than willing to stick her nose into places other people (including the police and occasionally, her editor) would rather she didn’t.

But she never thought things would get so personal. In her debut, the Edgar-nominated Invisible City (2014), she’s sent to cover the story of a murdered woman, who turns out to be an Hasidic Jew– which rings all sorts of bells for Rebekah. Her mother, Aviva Kagan, was also an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, which is why Rebekah, a recent college grad, moved to NYC in the first place — her mother abandoned her and her father just months after she was born and neither of them has heard from her since. The idea of somehow being closer to her mother, who might still be alive somewhere in Brooklyn, appeals to her.

But getting answers about the murdered woman — or her mother — from the powerful and secretive ultra-Orthodox community isn’t easy for outsider Rebekah. But she can’t let either case drop.

Rebekah, it turns out, is a dogged investigator, intelligent and not afraid to speak her mind, and as she pushes on, a hidden, secret world she never knew — and which her mother was once part of — opens up before her. She even makes a new friend: Saul Katz, a former NYPD cop, who proves to be helpful in navigating that strange, insular (at least to Rebekah) world.

A world, incidentally, that she has returned to twice, so far, in Run You Down (2015) and Conviction (2017).

Julia Dahl is a journalist specializing in crime and criminal justice. Invisible City was her first novel, and was named one of the Boston Globe‘s Best Books of 2014 and was a finalist for both an Edgar and a Mary Higgins Clark Award. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. and writes for


  • “An absolutely crackling, unputdownable mystery told by a narrator with one big, booming voice. I loved it.”
    ― Gillian Flynn on Invisible City
  • “(An) impressive debut… Dahl’s convincing dialogue and perfect pacing make for a real page-turner. And her storytelling skills illuminate the intriguing worlds of the tabloid press, Hasidism, the NYPD, and Brooklyn’s 20-somethings–as well as the fragile boundaries of family, religion, and life itself.”
    Publishers Weekly on Invisible City (starred review)
  • “Fast-paced, suspenseful… (Invisible City) rises above the crime-novel genre in its unusual psychological, spiritual and sociological dimensions, entering a world unfamiliar to most people.”
    The Washington Post
  • “Bringing together the hyenas of tabloid journalism with the secretive, inwardly focused, self-protecting religious Jews, Dahl manages to demonize and humanize both, while delivering a riveting story. I sincerely hope there will be a sequel because after reading the last page, I wanted to know: What happens next?”
    The Boston Globe on Invisible City
  • “… a thrilling, utterly absorbing crime novel. With tender-tough reporter Rebekah Roberts at the story’s center, it jolts the heart, while also raising bigger, troubling questions―about criminal confessions, urban fear, and the many, many ways our moral and ethical convictions can both guide us and mislead us, and ultimately save us.”
    — Megan Abbott on Conviction


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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