Metropolis; B.A. Shapiro
Algonquin Books - 2022
(ARC sent to me by the publisher)
Metropolis, is a grand, five-level storage facility located in Cambridge, MA near MIT. As the story opens we know that there has been a 911 call for an accident involving an individual who has fallen into the elevator shaft. The building is in foreclosure and the the young owner, Zach has a company auctioning the contents of the unclaimed units to recoup some money given the potential of a gigantic lawsuit.
As the story progresses the reader gets to know more about six of the individuals who have ties to the storage facility and who have been using the facility for purposes other than short/long term storage. Most of the characters are dealing with difficult circumstances and I found some of their stories quite moving. In addition to Zach, who attended Ivy league schools and dealt drugs, we have Rose, the manager of the facility who has several issues on the home front and, she has used her job as manager of the facility as a way to get extra cash by breaking a few of the rules and allowing renters to use their units for purposes other than storing things. There is Marta, a grad student working on her dissertation who is also trying to stay under the radar and to avoid ICE agents finding her as she has outstayed her visa. Liddy is a mother of twins who attend a boarding school in Switzerland. She is married to a wealthy, powerful man and is in an abusive situation but, he refuses to let her leave him. Jason is an attorney who saw the wrong his law firm had done and ventured out on his own even if it meant an uncertain future for him. Serge is another character who works in a restaurant but is a brilliant street photographer, he makes a deal with Rose to access other rented units for the purposes of taking pictures of the contents.
This is a story that I really enjoyed, it's a bit of mystery and the characters are ones I grew to care about. I liked the unusual setting, a high end storage facility and learning about the motivations of the individuals using the facility. I liked the way the author had wrapped up this story as well - very satisfying. I loved the author's writing style and I now plan to read a a previous book by this author called: The Art Forger. If you are looking for something different and satisfying - try this book.
RATING - 4.5/5 stars