A darkly comic mystery by the author of Hark and The Ask set in the vibrant music scene of early 1990s New York City.
Manhattan’s East Village, 1993. Dive bars, DIY music venues, shady weirdos, and hard drugs are plentiful. Crime is high but rent is low, luring hopeful, creative kids from sleepy suburbs around the country.
One of these is Jack S., a young New Jersey rock musician. Just a few days before his band’s biggest gig, their lead singer goes missing with Jack’s prized bass, presumably to hock it to feed his junk habit. Jack’s search for his buddy uncovers a sinister entanglement of crimes tied to local real estate barons looking to remake New York City—and who might also be connected to the recent death of Jack’s punk rock mentor. Along the way, Jack encounters a cast of colorful characters, including a bewitching, quick-witted scenester who favors dressing in a nurse’s outfit, a monstrous hired killer with a devotion to both figure skating and edged weapons, a deranged if prophetic postwar novelist, and a tough-talking cop who fancies himself a retro-cool icon of the homicide squad but is harboring a surprising secret.
No One Left to Come Looking for You is a page-turning suspense novel that also serves as a love letter to a bygone era of New York City where young artists could still afford to chase their dreams.
At the start of this charming comic mystery set circa 1993 from Lipsyte (Hark), 20-something Jonathan "Jack" Shit, who plays in "the Shits, a fast-disintegrating band" on the fringes of Manhattan's East Village music scene, is awakened by a call from Dyl Becker at King Snake Guitars. Dyl tells Jack that the band's smack-addled lead singer, the Banished Earl, was just in his store with Jack's bass guitar trying to sell it days before a big gig. Earl disappears, and the stolen bass, probably swapped for drugs, ends up in the hands of a thug named Mounce, whom Jack confronts as Mounce also tries to sell the instrument. A subsequent murder raises the stakes. Jack soon connects Earl's disappearance with an aggressive real estate mogul known for stiffing his business associates while scheming to profit at any cost from the urban renewal of New York City. A wild array of neighborhood characters and scenesters guide Jack, including Corrina, an affectionate devotee engaged in mysterious art projects. This whodunit homage comes complete with dark satirical observations of New York 30 years ago. Spinal Tap fans will want to check it out.