Books: Invisible City

Invisible City

Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.

Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah’s shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD’s habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can’t let the story end there. But getting to the truth won’t be easy—even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it’s clear that she’s not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider.

In her riveting debut Invisible City, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage.

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Available in hardcover, paperback, e-book and audio formats.

Available in June, the sequel to Invisible City, Run You Down

Praise for Invisible City

“Strong, blunt prose...a harrowing tale.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Keeps readers engaged in the double-barreled drama.”

The Toronto Star

“Masterly, pitch-perfect.”


“An absolutely crackling, unputdownable mystery told by a narrator with one big, booming voice. I loved it.”

— Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

“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 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

“This novel is particularly notable for its combination of a skillfully wrought, increasingly suspenseful mystery populated by well-drawn characters and a deeply sympathetic understanding of a contemporary culture that remains insular for its own understandable reasons. Journalist Dahl’s debut sets a high bar.”


“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

“Dahl scores a solid series of home runs. A fascinating portrayal of a young woman coming to terms with her heritage while negotiating an unknown world.”


“Julia Dahl’s debut novel is riveting. I couldn’t put it down without thinking about when I might be able to pick it up again, and it was finished all too soon for my taste. This story developed a life of its own, and the cast of characters began to walk off the pages into real life...Dahl is a major talent.”


“Crime writer Dahl is off to a running start in her stunning debut of the Rebekah Roberts series. Well researched with fastidious attention to detail, her tale takes readers inside a society that is a world unto itself. - 4.5 stars”

RT Book Reviews

“I literally devoured this book in one sitting. I could not put it down.”

Badass Book Reviews

“An astute investigation into crimes of the heart.”

— More Magazine

“Invisible City asks difficult questions and approaches them honestly.”

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

“The gripping story will grab you and take you into a world where laws are ignored in favor of tradition – and where the murder of a mother could be swept under the carpet.”

BELLA NYC Magazine

“A smart, tightly-wrought page turner and one of the finest depictions of beat journalism I’ve read. Dahl gives us a new hero in the guise of Rebekah Roberts — hard boiled girl reporter — who risks her life and career to uncover the truth about a murder in the cloistered community of Borough Park. Dahl is a master of pacing and suspense. This lucid, illuminating gem is an outstanding debut.”

— Cara Hoffman, author of So Much Pretty

“Julia Dahl is a veteran reporter, and her debut novel reads like the work of a seasoned pro. She knows this world inside out, and the result is a tense tale written in prose that crackles and pops. I found the characters every bit as fascinating as the setting. This one’s something special, as is the author. I’m eager for her follow-up.”

— Steve Yarbrough, award-winning author of Safe From the Neighbors

“Thrilling, fun, smart and moving, Invisible City makes me proud and a little afraid to be a Jew living in Brooklyn. We need more reporters like Rebekah and more books about her from Julia Dahl. Hurry!”

— David Gordon, author of The Serialist