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.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. VSL// A complicated and elegantly executed new novel