The smart-mouthed but sensitive runaway socialite Madeline Dare is shocked when she discovers the skeleton of a brutalized three-year-old boy in her own weed-ridden family cemetery outside Manhattan. Determined to see that justice is served, she finds herself examining her own troubled personal history, and the sometimes hidden, sometimes all-too-public class and racial warfare that penetrates every level of society in the savage streets of New York City during the early 1990s.
Madeline is aided in her efforts by a colorful assemblage of friends, relatives, and new acquaintances, each one representing a separate strand of the patchwork mosaic city politicians like to brag about. The result is an unforgettable narrative that relates the causes and consequences of a vicious crime to the wider relationships that connect and divide us all. In INVISIBLE BOY Cornelia Read depicts, with sensitivity, eloquence, and powerful emotion, the unstable fault lines of family, friendship, and society at large.
Read an excerpt (PDF)
Grand Central Publishing hardcover, March 2010, ISBN: 9780446511346
"Part mystery, part character piece, and part social treatise on race and class relations, Read's third mystery is interesting and well written; her dialog and character descriptions are compelling."
Nicole A. Cooke, Library Journal
"Set in 1990, Read's superb third Madeline Dare novel (after The Crazy School) finds the acid-tongued ex-socialite and her blue-collar husband, Dean, in Manhattan.... Read expertly evokes the New York City of the period, from the nearly palpable grime of Chelsea to disturbing undertones of racism and classism in the justice system. Equal parts toughness and vulnerability, Madeline is always a bracing heroine."
Publishers Weekly (starred)
Ex-debutante Madeline Dare is a fallen WASP with a stinging wit. The one-time newspaper reporter seems to find murder and mayhem wherever she goes.... As in previous entries, Shamus Award-winner Read offers a steady dose of suspense and plenty of clever commentary on the caprices of the upper crust.
Allison Block, Booklist
"By the end of this book your heart will break, an all too familiar tale of evil within the home becoming clearer and clearer from early on. But you will also feel an empathy leaning towards pain for Madeline. Righteous and ridiculous, all inquiring and willing to shut the blinds as soon as daylight breaks into the room. Read implants tucks here and nips there until you are left with a hope and sorrow entirely about the book and absolutely about the story she has created for one heroine on the list of mystery heroines for all time."
Ruth Jordan, Crimespree Magazine
"Snarkiness, the reader finds, has covered an emotional vulnerability and complexity that is revealed after Dare discovers the skeleton of a brutalized three-year-old boy in a long-forgotten family cemetery outside Manhattan.... Invisible Boy is a well-told tale, worthy of your time."
New Hampshire Magazine
"Cornelia Read's darkest, most passionate, and most poignant book yet."
Tana French, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Cornelia Read's books are richan ironic phrase considering that her books are as much a socio-ecomomic critique (veiled in a crackling good story) as they are anything else. Her prose is so delicious and full that it's almost better to try and savor it as you read, a task I frankly find impossible as I have inhaled all three of the books to date."
Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore