It has been a while since I’ve read a contemporary novel that I liked this much. Motherless Brooklyn is a pretty standard hard-boiled detective story with the noteworthy twist being that the protagonist/narrator has tourette’s syndrome. In many ways Lionel Essrog is like T.V.’s Adrian Monk—counting, touching, and ticcing his way through life—but, unlike Monk, Lionel’s disorder isn’t his super-detective power. His outbursts seem to explode at the worst possible times which adds an additional level of tension to already tense situations. This is a great story with a fascinating study of what it must really be like to suffer from tourettes added to the mix.