cover image Sing Her Down

Sing Her Down

Ivy Pochoda. Farrar, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-60848-4

This devastating thriller from Pochoda (These Women) examines the brutal politics inside an Arizona women’s penitentiary and the bleak mid-Covid landscape outside it. The first section focuses on three inmates: Kace, who is haunted by voices of the dead; Florida, a wealthy young white woman who was an accessory to murder, driving the getaway car while high; and Dios, Florida’s former cellmate, who’s determined to make Florida admit she’s no better than anyone else in their situation. Due to the strain of the pandemic, Florida and Dios are released from their sentences early and flee parole on a bus to Los Angeles. On the way, the pair makes one bad decision after another, garnering the attention of Lobos, a detective who wrestles with her own guilt and rage after surviving domestic violence; their explosive interplay takes up the back half of the action. In muscular prose, Pochoda plumbs the psychological depths of her fascinating characters and extracts high drama from their shifting allegiances. This searing, accomplished page-turner deserves a wide audience. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management. (May)