Hipster Death Rattle

If you decide not to get all pulpy and angst written in a noir-tinged crime novel, then you better go all sarcastic. That is the direction Richie Narvaez takes for his debut novel Hipster Death Rattle and the read is more fun than a $15 latte from a trendy café on Metropolitan Ave.

Title: Hipster Death Rattle (2019)
Author: Richie Narvaez 
Publisher: Down & Out Books 

Book jacket: Murder is trending. Hipsters are getting slashed to pieces in the hippest neighborhood in Brooklyn. While Detectives Petrosino and Hadid hound local gangbangers, slacker reporter Tony Moran and his ex Magaly Fernandez get caught up in a missing person’s case — one that might just get them hacked to death.    

Joe says:  Sarcastic as hell and more fun than a $15 latte from a trendy café. Read it.

Hipster Death Rattle is a fun, filthy crime novel that honors diversity, smacks around the hipster gentrification ethos, and, above all, celebrates all there is to love about New York. Even in Brooklyn.

Murder in the Big City is nothing new. However, a series of killings are on the rise in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hipsters – those beard-heavy, sock-abhorrent, name-branded prophets – who usually kill to get a condo with floor-to-ceiling windows, are instead dying on the streets. All chopped down by a psycho with a machete and usually while otherwise preoccupied by something flashing on a phone screen. While Detectives Petrosino and Hadid go all Sipowicz and Clark with their leads, slacker reporter Tony Moran accidentally begins making connections following the murder of a fellow reporter – and hipster. Truth be told, Petrosino and Hadid would rather be busting ex-cons and Moran out playing petanque out in the park, but the police actually want justice and Moran hopes to make a good impression on his ex-girlfriend, Magaly, who works with the Latino community. 

Hipster Death Rattle book review

Narvaez brilliantly assembles a number of plot threads, tying them together with sardonic wit. His approach is welcoming and memorable – as are his characters. From Latin-speaking Hasidic Jews to giant Italian women to ganja-toking artisans, Narvaez’s Brooklyn is both as real as Radio Raheem’s Stuyvesant and other-worldly as Clark Kent’s Metropolis beat. 

Narvaez, most importantly, builds a proper mystery with clues, false-leads, and a number of suspects – most of whom are guilty of at least something. Hipster Death Rattle keeps you guessing all while remaining incredibly entertaining. The only true crime here is that Narvaez’s writing style is one helluva guilty pleasure. 

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