Nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel
Ash McKenna is a blunt instrument. Find someone, scare someone, carry something; point him at the job, he gets it done. He generally accepts money upon completion, though a bottle of whiskey works, too--he's comfortable working on a barter system. It's not the career he dreamed about (archeologist) but it keeps him comfortable in his ever-changing East Village neighborhood.
That's until Chell, the woman he loves, leaves him a voicemail looking for help--a voicemail he gets two hours after her body is found. Ash hunts for her killer with the grace of a wrecking ball, running afoul of a drag queen crime lord and stumbling into a hard-boiled role playing game that might be connected to a hipster turf war.
Along the way, he's forced to face the memories of his tumultuous relationship with Chell, his unresolved anger over his father’s death, and the consequences of his own violent tendencies.
NEW YORKED takes you deep into the seedy underbelly of New York with an unforgettable literary voice steeped in the classic noir tradition, and a glimpse at a city disappearing right before our very eyes.
Set in New York City, Hart's edgy debut introduces a down-and-out sometime PI, Ashley McKenna, who wakes up one afternoon in his Lower East Side apartment from a drunken blackout to find a cry for help from his girlfriend, Chell, on his smartphone. He soon learns he's too late: Chell's body, showing signs of sexual assault, has been found in a Queens junkyard. Driven by a mix of anger, guilt, and depression, Ash sets out to find Chell's killer. He wanders from bar to bar in a world that seems to function on a mixture of alcohol and nicotine, with occasional infusions of cocaine. Following bewildering clues through the city's boroughs, omitting only the Bronx, he encounters bizarre characters with names such as Bombay, Ivy Archer, Snow White, and the King of Hipsters. The book's relentless pacing and strong sense of place compensate for the incoherent plot line, which prevents it from being truly effective.