Jeffrey Ford's The Girl in the Glass is one of the best books I've ever read. I was lucky enough to borrow an early review copy, and I devoured it in an afternoon. Then I had to restrain myself from telling people how incredibly good it was, because it seemed cruel to taunt them with something so wonderful that they couldn't read. Ever since it came out, of course, I've exercised no such restraint, and I've recommended it to anyone who'd hold still long enough to listen. It's a murder mystery, a historical novel, a love story (familial rather than romantic), a glimpse into a fascinating subculture, and it's even science fiction, if you squint at it just right. That list of descriptors might make it sound like a hodgepodge, but it's not -- it's a beautifully unified book with the kind of characters you'd want to spend a weekend with (well, except for the bad guys, and even they're complicated). Ford is one of the finest writers working today, and in The Girl in the Glass, he's working at the top of his game.