‘The Woman within the Boston Field’: A wise thriller Latovich means that you can comply with round city

A detail from Alex Peltz’s cover of “The Girl in the Boston Box” by Chuck Latovich.

I enjoy reading books I live in. But the fun of Chuck Latovich’s thriller “The Girl in the Boston Box” goes far beyond a clever analysis of real estate in the South End and absolutely accurate descriptions of the T-trip from Harvard Square to Fenway Park. The book is chic, nifty, and features more electrocuted moments than you could reasonably expect.


The plot follows two asynchronous leads: middle-aged Mark Chieswicz recounts the spring of 2017, an unlucky tour guide who discovers that his estranged brother lived in Boston – when the police tell him he was stabbed; Young Caitlyn Gautry is pursued about a year earlier, pursuing a Harvard doctoral thesis on an architectural curiosity called “The Boston Box.” The two threads naturally cross and the way they do it is just one of those great “oh shit” moments that Latovich delivers.

Along the way, local readers will realize where the heroes are going and what they see, including the ones Latovich invented. This is less of a surprise when you learn that the author is a Cantabrigian with a degree in journalism from Boston University. Everything from a drop in the name of the late Rev. Peter Gomes to descriptions of how Duck Boat Tour Guides are planned feels lived out, although it’s more likely that the details are simply being meticulously researched. There are a few chuckles along the way (the Jamaicaway is described as “obviously being constructed by someone who liked car accidents”) and luckily a few twists (including every time we have to read another unnecessary text exchange, especially among the kids knowing You ).

Latovich works with some drawbacks. The first is the shadow of author Dan Brown of The Da Vinci Code and its sequels, starring a Harvard symbologist following obscure clues to revelations of historical importance. “The Girl in the Boston Box” shares elements, but is the furthest from a tee. It’s a smooth read and a page turner, but not a film treatment in the form of a novel like Brown. “Boston Box” is too anxious to reach a satisfactory climax and resolution to be a cheap test at the end of each chapter. Latovich is more about solving underlying puzzles he is holding back so late in the book that everyone checks out how many remaining pages get a little crazy and wonder how they manage to do it. It’s actually pretty masterful the way he holds everything together, which makes it easy to forgive a bit of character-based clunkiness early on. But Latovich actually has characters, rather than proxies for Hollywood stars, to be attached later. (If nothing else, “Boston Box” will be aggressively awakened in ways that undermine expectations of an initially male-centric thriller, and it will gain more credit for being fairly realistic in terms of technology.)

The other downside is the fact that self-publishing is rightly fading. Latovich has produced a polished, professional book with pleasant typography and a cover design by Alex Peltz that cunningly pays homage to Saul Bass’ work for Hitchcock. There may be times when you come across a rare processing receipt, e.g. B. a “pour over” instead of a “dissolve”. However, due to the strip mining of the legitimate publishing industry over the past few decades, it is likely that you will find this bug on the pages output by Knopf or Random House. Nobody questions an independent podcast, and some of today’s greatest recording artists have emerged from SoundCloud. Completed packages such as “The Girl in the Boston Box” enable self-published novels to go beyond the stigma.

That said, if you like thrillers, The Girl in the Boston Box will have you reading as much as almost anything you can currently find on a bestseller list. And for the bonus of watching the action as you travel across Harvard Square, stopovers in Kendall, and explore the Boston Brownstones, this is the only check box that needs to be checked.

spherical gray-small“The Girl in the Boston Box” is expected to be ordered on Tuesday at bookstores such as the Harvard Book Store and Porter Square Books.


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