Jump into Karen E. Olson’s new book, Dead of the Day, and you will jump into a fun and very exciting ride through the Elm City. And this is the Elm City through the eyes of a former reporter and longtime Register copy editor who grew up in this area and clearly can roam the main thoroughfares, docks and back alleys with the best of them.
From the campus of Yale University to the rich and lovely cultural tapestry of so many other areas of the city, Olson walks her readers through a smorgasbord of what New Haven has to offer. The food reference was no accident, either, as Olson’s prose is full of what her intrepid reporter heroine, Annie Seymour, loves to eat and it is what we all like to eat: diner food, organics at Claire’s Corner Copia and, of course, pizza.
But Dead of the Day is much more than a menu. It is a timely – though fictional – look at immigration and how those who come here can be targets of those who would take advantage of them.
Olson wrote this before immigration took on new prominence last summer when the feds conducted raids here that targeted alleged illegal immigrants.
The book also is a quite fictional look at crime in the city. This makes for an exciting tale, some of which unfolds at the fictional newspaper the New Haven Herald, where Annie Seymour works.
The Herald reminds me a whole lot of the Register, at least in the way the building is structured, and the drama that takes place in the book has had me looking over my shoulder a few times as I walk in the dark parking lot to my car. (OK, I am not brave, but it also is that Olson describes so well the terrors her heroine faces.)
Dead of the Day is worth a read, as are Annie Seymour’s previous adventures in Olson’s books Sacred Cows and Second Hand Smoke. Along with its locally-grown adventure, it contains a dose of romance and – I admit I did not count them – what seemed to be a few less of Annie’s (expletive deleted) favorite swear words.