My friend Ivy Pochoda has many talents. A poetic voice, haunting characters, an understanding of human nature at its best and worst. She’s particularly good at weaving a narrative from the multiple perspectives of characters moving on the urban grid. Each story is like an elaborate dance, a multidimensional chess game. Ivy’s new novel, These Women, is a tour de force. This is crime fiction at one level, but it is much more. It’s about monsters and angels and ghosts, about grief and memory and obsession. I am reminded (with a few modifications) of Ross MacDonald’s line about Raymond Chandler: Ivy writes “like a slumming angel” and has a remarkable sense of “the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles” and the people who live and die on them.

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