Best new crime: Hanff Korelitz’s 7th novel is wicked, wise and very funny

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 Writer Jean Hanff Korelitz’s new novel, The Plot, is not so much a who as a psychological howdunnit. Photograph: Mike Coppola/ Getty

Writer Jean Hanff Korelitz’s new novel, The Plot, is not so much a who as a psychological howdunnit. Photograph: Mike Coppola/ Getty

The first part of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s dazzling literary thriller, The Plot (Faber & Faber, £8.99), recounts how once-promising author Jacob Finch Bonner found himself within a forest dark: “the novel-in-progress on his laptop was not a novel, and it was hardly in progress”. 

After his second book’s lack of impact, Jake is teaching creative writing at Ripley College on “a third-rate MFA programme that nobody – not even its own faculty – took seriously”. A sullen, disrespectful student called Evan Parker has just told him the extraordinary story of his proposed novel, and Jake sees immediately that everyone he knew would read it: “Oprah Winfrey would hold it up to the cameras and you would see it on the table closest to the front door of every bookstore you walked into, likely for years to come.” 

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