Reviews for Other Typist


Booklist Reviews 2013 May #1
Rose, a police precinct typist in Prohibition New York, has seen many things. As the recorder of confessions and transgressions of all sorts, she considers herself to be an astute judge of character. So when Odalie Lazare, a new typist, arrives in the office, Rose is intrigued by her beauty, charm, and seeming wealth. Rose becomes infatuated with Odalie, who is not what she appears to be, as Odalie pulls Rose into a world filled with speakeasies, bootleggers, and elite estate parties. With hints toward The Great Gatsby, Rindell's novel aspires to re-create Prohibition-era New York City, both its opulence and its squalid underbelly. She captures it quite well, while at the same time spinning a delicate and suspenseful narrative about false friendship, obsession, and life for single women in New York during Prohibition. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2013 May
The woman behind the typewriter

Rose Baker is the kind of girl who prides herself on the knowledge that the only remarkable thing about her is just how very plain she is. Often overlooked, prizing moral rectitude above all else and fastidious to a fault, Rose is a natural at her somewhat outré job as a typist in a 1920s New York City police station, where she dutifully types up the confessions and reports that put guilty men behind bars. Upon the hiring of a vivacious new typist named Odalie, Rose’s perch on her principled pedestal becomes precarious when she falls under the spell of this magnetic and irresistible young woman. Swept into an opulent but forbidden world of bootleggers and back-alley drinking halls, Rose starts to loosen her grip on her precious rules, only to find that reality and her own sense of self are soon to follow.

A prim typist finds her dark side in Rindell’s devilish, delicious debut.

The Other Typist is Suzanne Rindell’s debut novel, but what a deliciously devilish debut it is! Rindell’s prose is rich with vivid turns of phrase and imagery that dazzles like the tassels on a flapper’s frock, but her real coup is the creation of meek little Rose—who is actually anything but. In contrast to her drab exterior, Rose’s inner monologue is satisfyingly tart and her world view slyly subversive. Readers will swiftly realize that she is more than what she seems—but the one thing she is not, is to be trusted. With shades of Notes on a Scandal and a dash of The Great Gatsby thrown in for pizzazz, Rindell has concocted a potent psychological thriller that is downright addictive and more than a little twisted. The Other Typist is an excellent game of cat and mouse, one made all the better for never knowing exactly who is the hunter and who is the prey. Only one thing is for certain: Few readers will escape the mind-bending trap Rindell has set—and even fewer will be interested in trying.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2013 August
Your guide to noteworthy debuts of 2013

Is there anything more nerve-racking than publishing a first novel? For authors and publishers alike, it’s a nail-biting moment of sink or swim. Here are 10 debuts from the year (so far!) that signal the start of promising careers.

THE HOUSE GIRL
By Tara Conklin
For fans of: Tracy Chevalier, Kathryn Stockett, Geraldine Brooks
First line: “Mister hit Josephine with the palm of his hand across her left cheek and it was then she knew she would run.”
About the book: The stories of a runaway slave and a modern-day lawyer intersect in a quiet, emotional and thought-provoking tale.
About the author: Conklin worked as a corporate lawyer before moving to Seattle with her husband and children to write this novel.
Read more: Interview from our February issue.

GHOSTMAN
By Roger Hobbs
For fans of: Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Dan Brown
First line: “Hector Moreno and Jerome Ribbons sat in the car on the ground level of the Atlantic Regency Hotel Casino parking garage, sucking up crystal meth with a rolled-up five spot, a lighter and a crinkled length of tin foil.”
About the book: This thrilling heist novel is full of nonstop action and includes incredible detail on everything from casino operations to armored cars—as well as an unforgettable, amoral antihero.
About the author: Just 24 years old, Hobbs finished the novel while still attending Reed College in Portland.
Read more: Interview from our February issue.

THE SUPREMES AT EARL'S ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT
By Edward Kelsey Moore
For fans of: Maeve Binchy, Terry McMillan, Fannie Flagg
First line: “I woke up hot that morning. Came out of a sound sleep with my face tingling and my nightgown stuck to my body.”
About the book: The 40-year friendship of three women from the small town of Plainview, Indiana, is celebrated in a big-hearted story that’s full of laughs—and inspired by the “smart, and interesting, and not foolish” women in Moore’s own life.
About the author: Moore was an accomplished cellist and college professor when he decided to try writing at the age of 40 (he’s now 52).
Read more: Interview from our March issue.

A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA
By Anthony Marra
For fans of: Téa Obreht, Adam Johnson, Jonathan Safran Foer
First line: “On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones.”
About the book: Set against the backdrop of the Chechen Wars, an exhausted doctor fights to protect a young girl whose father has been taken away by Russian soldiers for a crime he didn’t commit.
About the author: Currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Marra holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has lived in Eastern Europe.
Read more: Review from our May issue.

THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI
By Helene Wecker
For fans of: Susanna Clarke, Deborah Harkness, Michael Chabon
First line: “The Golem’s life began in the hold of a steamship.”
About the book: A golem, a jinni and the evil wizard that links them star in Wecker’s imaginative blend of Jewish and Arabic folklore. The supernatural characters are grounded by the novel’s detailed, vibrant setting in 1899 New York City, where immigrants and wealthy citizens mingle on teeming streets.
About the author: Wecker spent seven years working in the corporate sector before attending Columbia University’s writing program.
Read more: Interview from our May issue.

THE OTHER TYPIST
By Suzanne Rindell
For fans of: Amor Towles, Zoë Heller, M.L. Stedman
First line: “They said the typewriter would unsex us.”
About the book: Rose, a prim and proper typist working in 1920s Manhattan, forms a friendship with mysterious, fun-loving Odalie that borders on obsession. With Rose as its sly and slightly unreliable narrator, this suspenseful story will keep you guessing.
About the author: A former employee of a literary agency, Rindell is finishing up a Ph.D. in modernist literature at Rice University.
Read more: Review from our May issue.

THE EXECUTION OF NOA P. SINGLETON
By Elizabeth L. Silver
For fans of: Lionel Shriver, Gillian Flynn, John Grisham
First line: “In this world, you are either good or evil.”
About the book: We know from page one that Noa is guilty of murder. Silver’s psychologically acute narrative probes the all-important question of why—and provides a breathtaking answer.
About the author: Silver earned her legal knowledge as a judicial clerk and research attorney for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She also has an M.A. in literature.
Read more: Review from our June issue.

THE GHOST BRIDE
By Yangsze Choo
For fans of: Lisa See, Eowyn Ivey, Jamie Ford, Erin Morgenstern
First line: “One evening, my father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride.”
About the book: In 1893 Malaysia, Li Lan finds herself betrothed to a ghost—and in love with another man. Her quest for freedom takes her through the land of the dead.
About the author: Choo got a degree in sociology from Harvard before launching her writing career.  
Read more: Interview in this issue.

THE FIELDS
By Kevin Maher
Fo[Fri Aug 29 01:28:51 2014] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249. r fans of: Roddy Doyle, Jennifer Haigh, Nick Hornby
First line: “When Jack died I was real young, younger than I am now, and I said, in a temper, that I would never let it happen again.”
About the book: This ambitious coming-of-age story set in 1980s Dublin is told in the memorable voice of Jim Finnegan, the youngest of six in a working-class family.
About the author: From Dublin himself, Maher now lives in England and is a film critic for several papers, including the Guardian.
Read more: Review in this issue.

THE PEOPLE IN THE TREES
By Hanya Yanagihara
For fans of: Donna Tartt, Ann Patchett, Barbara Kingsolver
First line: “I was born in 1924 near Lindon, Indiana, the sort of small, unremarkable rural town that some twenty years before my birth had begun to duplicate itself, quietly but insistently, across the Midwest.”
About the book: Told through the annotated journals of Dr. Norton Perina, this sprawling tale has an old-fashioned feel. Perina has discovered the key to longevity on a remote island—but at what price?
About the author: Yanagihara is an editor for Condé Nast Travel—which explains Perina’s fantastic descriptions of island paradise.
Read more: Review in this issue.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2014 April
New paperback releases for reading groups

JAZZ AGE THRILLS
Set in New York City during the Prohibition era, Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist is a captivating mystery with an unassuming heroine at its heart. Rose Baker—respectable, conscientious and more than a little mousy—works as a typist for the New York City police, documenting spine-tingling criminal confessions. The sensational stories she’s exposed to at work add spice to her somewhat mundane life. When a typist named Odalie is hired, Rose finds herself fascinated by her new co-worker. Odalie is flirtatious, beautiful and brazen, and she leads the life of a flapper, frequenting speakeasies and dressing in the latest styles. Rose becomes wrapped up in Odalie’s world, but she’s plagued by doubts about her new friend’s intentions. She soon discovers that Odalie is not at all who she seems to be. This richly detailed, skillfully constructed mystery offers a fascinating look at life in 1920s New York. Rindell’s depiction of the city is convincing, and her gift for dialogue adds zest to the proceedings. Fans of historical fiction and suspense will love this debut.

SIBLING STRIFE
Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Elizabeth Strout is back with another compelling family drama. The Burgess Boys is the story of Jim and Bob Burgess, brothers who, along with their sister, Susan, experienced a traumatic accident when they were kids—a mishap on the part of Bob that led to the death of their father. Although they’ve both become successful New York attorneys, the brothers aren’t close. Arrogant, self-centered Jim is a heavyweight at a corporate law firm, while modest, down-to-earth Bob works with Legal Aid. When Susan summons them home to Maine to help her son, who has been charged with a hate crime, the brothers’ contrasting reactions reveal just how different they really are. The fresh family crisis also dredges up unpleasant memories—issues from the past that they’re forced to come to terms with. Strout’s spot-on depictions of sibling friction are sure to strike a chord with her many fans. Her deep understanding of human motivations and psychology lend authenticity to this unforgettable family tale.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Hannah Kent’s chilling debut novel, Burial Rites, is based on the true story of Agnes Magnúsdøttir, a maid accused of murder who was the last defendant in Iceland to face the death penalty. The year is 1829, and Agnes is being held at a remote farm in lieu of a prison until the time of her execution. Jón Jónsson, owner of the farm and a local official, is responsible for Agnes, and her presence creates a definite sense of unease among his family. Agnes asks for a priest, and it’s through her conversations with him that parts of her story unfold. Agnes has been accused of the murder of her employer and his friend, but in spite of that fact, she earns the audience’s compassion. Her tale is perfectly matched by its grim Scandanavian setting. Kent deftly weaves historical fact into this hypnotic work of fiction. It’s an unsettling portrait of a woman whose motives and actions are darkly fascinating.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
Take a dollop of Alfred Hitchcock, a dollop of Patricia Highsmith, throw in some Great Gatsby flourishes, and the result is Rindell's debut, a pitch-black comedy about a police stenographer accused of murder in 1920s Manhattan. Typing criminals' confessions, Rose admires the precinct's conservative, mustachioed middle-aged sergeant while she is critical of his superior, the lieutenant detective Frank, who is closer to her in age and a clean-shaven dandy in his white spats. An orphan raised by nuns, Rose lives in a boardinghouse and leads a prim spinster life far removed from the flappers and increasingly liberated women of the "Roaring Twenties." She seems destined to a life of routine solitude until a new typist is hired. Odalie wears her hair bobbed, dresses with panache and lives in a posh hotel. Rose voices disapproval at first, but she is clearly drawn to Odalie, even obsessed with her. When Odalie invites her to share her hotel rooms, Rose moves right in. Soon, Rose is accompanying Odalie on her adventures, which include bootlegging, among other vices. Sometimes Rose borrows Odalie's clothes, sometimes she runs errands for Odalie. But who is Odalie? Where does her money come from? And if she has money, why does she work as a police stenographer? At a house party on Long Island, a young man from Newport thinks he recognizes Odalie as the debutante once engaged to his cousin, but she denies knowing him. By the time he turns up dead, Rose has been sucked into Odalie's world so deeply that their identities have merged. Who is using whom? Recalling her recent life, revealing only what she wants to reveal in bits and pieces, Rose begins her narration archly with off-putting curlicues she gradually discards. She is tart, judgmental, self-righteous and self-justifying. She is also viciously astute. Whether she's telling the truth is another matter. A deliciously addictive, cinematically influenced page-turner, both comic and provocative, about the nature of guilt and innocence within the context of social class in a rapidly changing culture. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 December #1

"The other typist" is Odalie, the mysterious, magnetic young woman who joins Rose Baker's typing pool at a Lower East Side precinct in 1924 Manhattan. Rose, confused by the rapid changing mores as the Twenties roar along, is enthralled with the newcomer, but her admiration soon turns into threatening obsession. First novelist Rindell has published poetry and short fiction in places like Conjunctions, so she can write. With rights to six countries.

[Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Library Journal Express Reviews
New York City in the 1920s is a time of speakeasies and bathtub gin, an era when women smoke in public and bob their hair. An orphan raised by nuns, Rose Baker has learned to follow the rules as a means of self-preservation. Now employed as a typist in a New York City police precinct, she transcribes confessions that will eventually become irrefutable evidence in court. When an enchanting typist named Odalie joins the precinct, everything changes. Despite her better judgment, Rose is soon under Odalies's spell. Rose quickly learns that there are several versions of Odalie's past, and much to Rose's chagrin, the importance of knowing which is true becomes increasingly less important as time goes on. What begins for Rose as the promise of the bosom-friend she never had quickly becomes a complicated mess of lies, deceit, and insanity. Verdict Fans of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley are sure to love Rindell's debut novel, which parallels Ripley in its examination of our fascination with wealth and the potential consequences of keeping the wrong company. [See Prepub Alert, 11/19/12.]--Caitlin Bronner, St. Joseph's Coll. Lib., Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #5

With prohibition picking up steam, the New York precinct where Rose Baker works typing confessions is busy enough to need a new girl. Enter the beautiful, disturbing, and enviable Odalie. Soon Rose, a convent-raised orphan who presents herself as old-fashioned and dowdy, is ensconced in Odalie's expensive apartment, sharing her clothes, and going with her to speakeasies. Even as she's drawn in by Odalie's seductive charm and comfortable life, Rose is aware of Odalie's flexible relationship with the truth and the way she uses her position to help confederates on the wrong side of the law. But though this awareness gives Rose pause, the lure of having a friend and the thrill of living life instead of watching it pass seem to be enough to make her ignore her doubts. But then a figure from Odalie's mysterious past shows up and raises questions even Rose can't ignore, and her curiosity leads her to challenge Odalie, with explosive results. Though the final twist--the one that should make readers gasp and look back for the clues they missed--is hinted at too often ("this latter discovery lay like a bear trap waiting to spring on me," as Rose tells us) to snap smartly when sprung, Rindell's debut is a cinematic page-turner. Agent: Emily Forland, the Wendy Weil Agency. (May)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

With prohibition picking up steam, the New York precinct where Rose Baker works typing confessions is busy enough to need a new girl. Enter the beautiful, disturbing, and enviable Odalie. Soon Rose, a convent-raised orphan who presents herself as old-fashioned and dowdy, is ensconced in Odalie's expensive apartment, sharing her clothes, and going with her to speakeasies. Even as she's drawn in by Odalie's seductive charm and comfortable life, Rose is aware of Odalie's flexible relationship with the truth and the way she uses her position to help confederates on the wrong side of the law. But though this awareness gives Rose pause, the lure of having a friend and the thrill of living life instead of watching it pass seem to be enough to make her ignore her doubts. But then a figure from Odalie's mysterious past shows up and raises questions even Rose can't ignore, and her curiosity leads her to challenge Odalie, with explosive results. Though the final twist--the one that should make readers gasp and look back for the clues they missed--is hinted at too often ("this latter discovery lay like a bear trap waiting to spring on me," as Rose tells us) to snap smartly when sprung, Rindell's debut is a cinematic page-turner. Agent: Emily Forland, the Wendy Weil Agency. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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