First off, huge thanks to Kate at Faber & Faber and Melissa Ginsburg for my copy of Sunset City to read and review for the tour! 🙂
About the book (via Goodreads):
Before the drugs, Danielle Reeves was Charlotte Ford’s most loyal and vibrant friend. She helped Charlotte through her mother’s illness and death, and opened up about her own troubled family. The two friends were inseparable, reveling in Houston’s shadowy corners. But then Danielle’s addiction got the best of her and she went to prison for four years. When she gets out, she and Charlotte reconnect. Charlotte hopes this is a new start for their friendship.
But then, a detective shows up at Charlotte’s apartment. Danielle has been murdered, bludgeoned to death.
Overwhelmed by grief, Charlotte is determined to understand how the most alive person she has ever known could end up dead. But the deeper Charlotte descends into Danielle’s dark world, the less she understands. Was Danielle a hapless victim or master manipulator? Was she really intent on starting over or was it all an act? To find out the truth, Charlotte must keep her head clear and her guard up. Houston has a way of feeding on bad habits and Charlotte doesn’t want to get swallowed whole, a victim of her own anguished desires.
Sunset City is a tour de force in noir fiction. Grity, dark and full of secrets, it is a very well written debut novel.
I don’t tend to read many novels that fall into the noir genre if I’m honest, they just aren’t something I would pick up normally. However, after reading Sunset City I would definitely be interested in reading more.
Melissa Ginsburg writes exceptionally well, capturing those years in your twenties where you are essentially coasting through life with no definitive aim as such. Charlotte is the epitome of this. Casual drug use, drinking and sex feature heavily in Sunset City, but it’s not overdone in any way.
Dealing with the murder of one of her friends, with whom she had recently reconnected, causes Charlotte to question if she was the reason for Danielle’s death. In the aftermath of this, Charlotte immerses herself into Danielle’s life, and this leads her further down the rabbit hole of excess.
The author has done a great job capturing the inertia of life, even in a city as large as Houston. It was very easy to identify with Charlotte’s frustrations, and her reactions in the course of the novel. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in her world.
Sunset City is a superb debut. I devoured it fairly quickly as I was unwell so I was thankful to have a great book for company. Melissa Ginsburg is definitely an author to watch out for, I can see her doing so well if this is her debut!
I gave Sunset City 4 stars on Goodreads. It’s out now and you can purchase a copy by clicking the link below!
You can catch up on and follow the blog tour on these fab blogs! 🙂