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Welsh gets into ‘Crime’

Brooklyn’s PowerHouse Arena announces a reading and signing for “Crime” by on September 10, 7-8 p.m. at 37 Main Street in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn.

In one of only two New York City appearances, the celebrated “Trainspotting” author spends an evening reading from his latest novel to be followed by a Q&A and author reception and signing.

In “Crime” (W. W. Norton & Company; September 2, 2008; $24.95 hardcover), Welsh plunges readers into a whirlwind landscape spanning both Scotland and America in which criminals and predators lurk around all corners — a world so vividly and sedulously realized that the human drama unfolds with shocking urgency.

Detective Inspector Ray Lennox of the Edinburgh PD has been placed on leave due to exhaustion following a disastrous child abduction case in which the missing young girl, Britney Hamil, was eventually found tortured, raped, and murdered. Even as he travels with his fiancée, Trudi, on a much-needed vacation to sunny, glamorous Miami, Ray is wracked with guilt and anxiety over this young child, whom he failed to protect and avenge.

Depressed and at a loss for how to pull himself out of his hole, Ray resorts to old habits he thought he’d left behind. While Trudi pores over her copy of “Perfect Bride” and nags Ray to pick the venue for the big day, Ray downs yet another vodka at the Club Deuce and, despite his usual tendencies, finds himself avoiding sex with Trudi at all costs. Not surprisingly, this leads to a blowout fight between the couple. Trudi storms off, leaving Ray to sink only deeper into the seedy underworld of Miami.

In a night of utter debauchery, Ray finds himself on a coke binge with two desperate women while one of the women’s daughters sleeps in the next room. When strangers barge into the house, Ray suddenly becomes the only reliable caretaker for the young girl, who has been abused repeatedly by her mother’s boyfriends. Refusing to abandon ten-year-old Tianna, Ray rents a car and drives her across the state, hoping to deliver her to safety. But what Ray uncovers is a conspiracy more corrupt than he had imagined, in which even the policemen charged with imprisoning pedophiles are abusers and thugs.

But is Ray really in the right shape to be playing knight-errant to a terrified ten-year-old? Will his best instincts and worst judgments get him and Tianna killed? Or will he find the redemption he seeks? The novel is riveting in its emotional suspense, following this topsy-turvy world where, after all, too much is possible. Welsh punctuates the prose with his trademark comedic absurdity and wit, from descriptions of Trudi’s almost-maniacal wedding planning to the domesticated character of Ginger, a former tough Scottish detective, to the animated dialogue littered with inventive profanity.

For more, call 718-666-3049, 1-866-99-ARENA or go to www.powerhousearena.com.

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