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An Unexplained Death

The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere

Mikita Brottman



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07 January 2019
When the body of a missing man is discovered in the Belvedere, an apparent suicide, resident Mikita Brottman becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances of his death. The Belvedere used to be a hotel dating back to Baltimore's Golden Age but is now converted into flats, and as Brottman investigates the perplexing case of the dead man, she soon becomes caught up in the strange and violent secrets of the Belvedere's past. Her compulsions drive her to an investigation lasting over a decade.

Utterly absorbing and unnerving, An Unexplained Death will lead you down the dark and winding corridors of the Belvedere and into the deadly impulses and obsessions of the human heart.
By:   Mikita Brottman
Imprint:   Canongate
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside - Export/Airside/Ireland
Dimensions:   Height: 214mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   304g
ISBN:   9781786892652
ISBN 10:   1786892650
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   07 January 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mikita Brottman is a writer and a professor in the Department of Humanistic Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art in downtown Baltimore. She is also a certified psychoanalyst and runs a true crime podcast called Forensic Transmissions. She lives in the old Belvedere Hotel in Mount Vernon, Baltimore, with her partner, David, and French bulldog, Oliver. @MikitaBrottman |

Reviews for An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere

Set in a Gothic hotel worthy of Poe, this mesmerising book looks into all the dank corners of an obsession with a true crime case. Hypnotic, brutally honest and unputdownable -- DENISE MINA This is a learned, lucid, and finally heartbreaking account of urban obsession. It's David Fincher's film Zodiac crossed with accounts of Judge Crater's disappearance crossed with Ms Brottman's wild take on the unknowability of life and the necessity of staying obsessed. Ms Brottman is a groove - and so is her book -- JAMES ELLROY An Unexplained Death is something special. Brottman's searing honesty and insight, and her smooth, sinewy prose, turn this into a rather profound meditation on life and death, and our attitudes to both. Highly recommended * * Big Issue * * Mesmerising. A haunting meditation on the opacity of facts -- CLAUDIA ROWE, author of The Spider and the Fly Idiosyncratic . . . poignant . . . When Brottman writes, she's a virtuoso: poised and sure-footed, confident and graceful, witty and relaxed * * Baltimore Sun * * A lyrical freeform meditation on everything from the history of the Belvedere Hotel (where Brottman lives, and where Rivera's body was found) to the ways that people can become invisible to one another . . . If you're looking for gorgeous writing, reflections on why some of us are fascinated by the morbid, and are willing to accept that sometimes narratives, like life, can be unsatisfying no matter how deeply they are explored, An Unexplained Death is definitely for you * * Literary Hub * * An Unexplained Death is more about mystery itself than about a mystery. Rivera's death, which Brottman views in a light that serves as a satisfying twist, is the scaffolding on which she builds a larger meditation on the dark obsessions we develop . . . Brottman's book encourages us to explore beyond our comfort zone, hinting at the possibility for significant discoveries * * Paste * * Not just a thrilling whodunit, with new clues unfolding every chapter, it's a beautifully written elegy about the mystery of death . . . This is one riveting, heartbreaking read -- SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH, author of The Midnight Assassin There is a beautiful circuit between Brottman's sense that people are constantly casually forgetting her, and her compulsion to devote a book to a person who is in a state of being forgotten -- ALISSA BENNETT, author of Dead is Better Gripping, immersive, and beautifully written, with an unsettling juxtaposition of criminality and mundanity. Brottman blends tragic and gruesome details with an intelligent and refined touch -- HENRY BOND, author of Lacan at the Scene

  • Short-listed for CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2019 (UK)

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