fb-pixel Skip to main content

‘Jamaica Plain’: No, not that kind of yarn

Colin Campbell has never set foot in Jamaica Plain, and it shows. It’s great that the British author set his new crime novel in the neighborhood — why should Southie get all the literary attention? — but “Jamaica Plain” sounds a few jarringly false notes: Campbell imagined a nightclub next to sedate Jamaica Pond, and portrayed the notoriously progressive-minded and hipster-addled neighborhood as “the face of Middle America.” Since Campbell did most of his research on Google Maps, a few slip-ups were inevitable. But if he’d actually visited, Campbell might have found plenty of more authentic plotlines for Jamaica Plain noir:

■   A bloody santoku knife clanks against the pavement. A Subaru wagon speeds off into the night. As police arrive, the dying victim manages to whisper just two words: “Whole Foods.” The murder sets off a torrid tale of jealousy, vengeance, and heirloom vegetables, as two jaded cops search for a killer in a desperate underworld of home canners and unemployed sous-chefs.


■   He works at a nonprofit devoted to nonviolent creativity. She works at a nonprofit for creative nonviolence. Can this zany odd couple put aside their differences to solve the mysterious disappearance of a beloved pet therapist? Read “Dogged Pursuit” to find out!

■   In “Knit Guilty,” a freelance doula walking around the pond makes a gruesome discovery: the body of a respected local crafter, hanging by yarn from a tree. Police are stumped — until they realize that, as the catchy slogan spray-painted on Centre Street puts it, late-modern capitalism has violence at its core.