VSL// A complicated and elegantly executed new novel

“If you look hard enough into the history of anything,” Frederick Reiken writes in his excellent new novel, Day for Night (available 4/26), “you will discover things that seem to be connected but are not.” He’s kidding, of course—the “plot” of Reiken’s third book is constructed through a series of chance encounters, coincidences and random ephemera, all of which lead to an impossibly different—yet inevitable—place than where we started. Everything is connected.

What begins as a typical family drama becomes a chain reaction of plot twists. The book opens with a couple swimming with wild manatees on vacation in Florida, with the help of a dopey guide who also plays guitar in a band called Dee Luxe. From there, we’re thrust into a scene of the guide and his bandmate traveling by airplane from Florida to a hospital in Utah. On the plane, the two happen to sit next to a notorious fugitive being tracked by the F.B.I.—then, we’re suddenly in the midst of a neo-noir. And from there, things only get stranger. Day for Night is a beautiful test in patience, but by the end, you’ll see it was worth the wait.

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VSL// A complicated and elegantly executed new novel