Arts

Arts and culture

It has been 10 years of war.

In Pierce Brown's Red Rising universe, the rebellion begun by slaves three books ago, then carried into the stars by slaves become heroes, become gods, become myths, has nearly been won. Mars and Earth and Luna have been freed from the imperial control of the Gold ruling caste. The green fields of Mercury (just ... go with it) have been won at the cost of a million lives. Venus is all that remains now — stronghold of the Ash Lord, last vestige of the old order. Just one final epic battle, right? Then victory, sweet and eternal.

Right?

At Boston's Mei Mei Street Kitchen, a small crew led by Ellie Tiglao rearranges tables, turning the Chinese-American restaurant into a pop-up Filipino banquet hall. About 30 people mill about, sticking with the groups in which they came. A line forms to buy beer.

Violent crime is down in America's big cities.

It may not seem so if you watch crime dramas like CSI, NCIS or Chicago P.D., but homicide, assault and rapes have decreased in big cities since the 1970s. Even Chicago had a 16 percent decline in murders last year, to 650. (In 1974, the city had 970 homicides.)

Take a little Hitchcock and a touch of Gone Girl. Add in a mysterious author and rumors of a very big price tag. Stir them all together and you come up with a rare bird: A debut novel that hits number one on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on the market.

It's New York City in 1896. Young boys are being brutally murdered, and a team of outsiders assembles to hunt down the killer. On that team is a doctor with some unconventional views, a newspaper illustrator haunted by his past, and a police secretary who upsets the status quo: Miss Sara Howard, who's played by Dakota Fanning in the new television series, The Alienist.

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