Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
A wonderfully entertaining spin on the hard-boiled detective genre, filled with crackling dialogue and manic humour, from one of America's hottest young writers.Lionel Essrog, a.k.a. the Human Freakshow, is a victim of Tourette's syndrome (an uncontrollable urge to shout out nonsense, touch every surface in reach, stroke people and rearrange their collars). Local tough guy and fixer Frank Minna hires the adolescent Lionel and three other orphans from St Vincent's Home for Boys and grooms them to become the Minna Men, a fly-by-night detective-agency-cum-limo-service. Then one terrible day, Frank is murdered, and Lionel must become a real detective, delving into the complex, shadowy web of threats and favours that make up Frank Minna's Brooklyn.