Reddick is an artist living in New York City, yet makes his living delivering and hanging art for wealthy clients. His life is thrown into turmoil when he’s one of the last people to see the fiancé of his current client before she goes missing. He’s quickly and mysteriously hired by another society family to look into the disappearance. Restoration Heights follows Reddick’s hunt to find out what happened to Hannah as he navigates the class, cultural, and racial ‘layers of New York.’
He’s caught between two rich families and the disappearance of a white girl in a gentrified neighborhood, from the Upper West Side to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Reddick is confronted by the slight of wealth-angled vision, the well-heeled art establishment family doesn’t believe him, and as a white man, many of the African-Americans in his Harlem neighborhood don’t trust him. He’s puzzled by key questions throughout the narrative, but soldiers on in his moral undertaking. Why does he take the ‘job?’ Why does the other family ‘hire’ him? He’s forced to question his own and other’s motivations throughout the book.
Once you accept the New-York coincidence (the fact that the Upper West Side fiancé is last seen outside Reddick’s Bed Stuy apartment building), the reader can enjoy Medearis’s very good writing. In Restoration Heights, he provides searing commentary on gentrification, on athletes, on white rage, on the art community, and education vs experience. It is a good mystery that provides more than just a hunt for the plot’s truth. With a quick nod to Mosely, Medearis is a writer to be followed.
4 out of 5 stars.
Releases on January 22nd.
Thank you to NetGalley, Hanover Square Press, and Wil Medearis for an advanced copy for review.