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Razorhurst

Cover of Razorhurst

Razorhurst

In the vein of The Diviners and The Crimson Petal and the White, Razorhurst reimagines the notorious history of a mob-controlled Sydney—with a paranormal twist.

Sydney's deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by "razor men." Kelpie, orphaned and living on the street, is blessed and cursed with the ability to see Razorhurst's many ghosts, and she sees the cracks already forming in their truce. Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell.

Dymphna is a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She's earned the nickname "Angel of Death" for the trail of beaus who have died trying to protect her from Mr. Davidson's assassins. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and as Gloriana's hold crumbles one burly henchman at a time, the girls will need one another more than ever.

As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens at every turn, Dymphna is determined to not only survive but rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

In the vein of The Diviners and The Crimson Petal and the White, Razorhurst reimagines the notorious history of a mob-controlled Sydney—with a paranormal twist.

Sydney's deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by "razor men." Kelpie, orphaned and living on the street, is blessed and cursed with the ability to see Razorhurst's many ghosts, and she sees the cracks already forming in their truce. Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell.

Dymphna is a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She's earned the nickname "Angel of Death" for the trail of beaus who have died trying to protect her from Mr. Davidson's assassins. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and as Gloriana's hold crumbles one burly henchman at a time, the girls will need one another more than ever.

As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens at every turn, Dymphna is determined to not only survive but rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

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About the Author-
  • Justine Larbalestier is an Australian American writer who was born and raised in Sydney. Her solo novel Liar received starred reviews from four major review publications, was short-listed for eleven awards and won four, and was named a best book of the year by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), School Library Journal, Bank Street Books, and Michigan Thumps Up, as well as winning the 2010 White Ravens Award from the International Youth Library. She also wrote How to Ditch Your Fairy and the Magic or Madness trilogy, as well as coedited the Zombies vs. Unicorns anthology with Holly Black. Justine lives in Sydney, Australia, where she gardens, boxes, and tweets far too much.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 19, 2015
    In a place like Razorhurst—a slum of 1932 Sydney, where guns are outlawed and men kill with blades—it’s little surprise that Kelpie and Dymphna meet over the slit throat of a dead body. Though circumstance unites them, the girls couldn’t be more different: street urchin Kelpie stumbles upon Jimmy Palmer’s corpse while looking for food. Dymphna, though a teenager, looks and acts like an adult woman: she’s the top-earning prostitute in Glory Nelson’s criminal empire, and Jimmy is only the most recent of the dead lovers who have earned her the nickname “Angel of Death.” But both girls can see ghosts, and thanks to the cascading effects of Jimmy’s murder, both may die before the day ends. Larbalestier (Liar) packs plenty of danger into the single day this novel covers, but frequent interludes of backstory keep things from feeling rushed. The narrative also benefits from a colorful, well-rendered cast, human and ghost alike. While the writing style calls to mind fiction of an earlier era, this story’s interwoven intrigue and empathy make it feel timeless. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

  • AudioFile Magazine Rebekah Rimington and Fiona Hardingham portray two orphans who can communicate with ghosts as they make their way through crime-ridden, haunted Razorhurst. The third narrator, David Ligudzinski, somberly provides backstories that delve into Razorhurst's history and reveal characters' motivations. While the story frequently switches point of view and time periods, the multiple narrators alleviate any confusion. The use of Australian voices to narrate a story set in Sydney adds authenticity and grounds the piece in Larbalestier's style. A slightly faster pace could have heightened the atmosphere of the suspenseful plot, but, overall, this is an intriguing listen. K.S.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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Razorhurst
Razorhurst
Justine Larbalestier
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