The Disappearing Body by David Grand
A Novel

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At once a noir thriller and a literary excursion into urban America between the wars, The Disappearing Body is a tale of drug dealing and union-busting, murder and mayhem on both sides of the law that combines the atmospheric richness of Dashiell Hammett and the irresistible, subversive humor of Thomas Pynchon.
When Victor Ribe, an ex-junkie and World War I veteran, is mysteriously released from prison after serving fifteen years for a murder he didn’t commit, the city he returns to is heating up for another kind of war. Prohibition has been repealed and the underworld is developing a new source of profits–illegal heroin trafficking. Meanwhile, the city’s legitimate industries are launching an offensive against unionization and the specter of Communism–and they’re not above fighting dirty.
When Victor’s old Army buddy Freddy Stillman, a munitions salesman, reports a murder but can’t explain why the body has disappeared, he unwittingly pulls himself and Victor into this bewildering swirl of corruption. It is a conspiracy that encompasses everyone–from a rising politician who may have just run into the end of his career to a young journalist driven as much by the nonstop energy of the Metro desk as she is by the mystery of her father’s suicide–in the book’s vast, noir cityscape.
David Grand, whose first novel, Louse, transformed the last days of Howard Hughes into compelling fiction, works the same dark magic here, weaving suspenseful mystery into his stunning, perversely hilarious portrait of the corruption, ambition, passion, and innocence of post-Prohibition America.

About David Grand

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David Grand, Ph.D., a practicing psychotherapist since 1979, has changed the lives of thousands of men and women. His breakthrough work has been profiled internationally through such media as NBC, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Grand lectures on EMDR around the world. He lives on Long Island, New York.
Published February 19, 2002 by Nan A. Talese. 418 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Disappearing Body

Kirkus Reviews

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The intricate plotting of traditional noir novels (and perhaps specifically the honeycombed structures of James Ellroy’s contemporary updatings of them) are expertly echoed and parodied in this terrific second novel by Grand, author of the oddball Kafkaesque debut novel Louse (1998).

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Publishers Weekly

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Grand's skill at keeping all these balls in the air and the palpable sense of menace he creates don't quite compensate, however, for the sense that the whole book is an elaborate put-on.

Apr 02 2002 | Read Full Review of The Disappearing Body: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

The beginning of the book introduces a lot of characters that seem unconnected and unnecessary to the basic plot.

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