Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer in the desert outside of Los Angeles. She’s on a quest to find her friend’s missing daughter, Arabella, and hears that Heist is preternaturally good at finding people who don’t want to be found. A loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer, Heist has a laconic, enigmatic nature that intrigues the sarcastic and garrulous Phoebe. It takes some convincing, but he agrees to help.
The unlikely pair traverse California’s stunning Inland Empire, navigating the enclaves of hippies and vagabonds who aim to live off the grid. They learn that these outcasts exist in warring tribes–the Rabbits and the Bears–and that Arabella is likely caught in the middle. As Phoebe tries to delicately extricate her, she realizes that Heist has a complicated history with these strange groups and that they’re all in grave danger.
Jonathan Lethem’s first detective novel since Motherless Brooklyn delivers the same memorable delights: ecstatic wordplay, warm and deeply felt characters, and an offbeat sense of humor. Combined with a vision of California that is at once scruffy and magnificent, The Feral Detective emerges as a transporting, comic, and absolutely unforgettable novel.