Fifteen-year-old Ilya arrives in Louisiana from his native Russia for what should be the adventure of his life: a year in America as an exchange student. But he's consumed by the fate of his older brother Vladimir, who is in prison for the murders of three young women.
Fitzpatrick does so many things right in Lights All Night Long, it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. As a mystery, it’s paced perfectly, with the novel moving seamlessly back and forth in time between Ilya’s life in Russia and his new one in America. Fitzpatrick proves to be an expert at building suspense; it’s hard not to read the book in a single sitting. She also avoids falling into well-worn tropes or clichés of fiction ... Similarly, Fitzpatrick treats the blossoming relationship between Ilya and Sadie with admirable realism ... It’s tricky to capture the specific, sometimes difficult language that brothers use to let each other know they care, but Fitzpatrick manages to do so perfectly, and it makes their relationship all the more beautiful and affecting ... an expertly crafted mystery and a dazzling debut from an author who’s truly attuned to how families work at their darkest moments.
...[a] formidably accomplished debut novel ... Los Angeles-based Fitzpatrick sharply examines the cheapness of life while at the same time flagging up and homing in on various redemptive riches, from brotherly bonds to cross-cultural relations to the pursuit of justice ... Few debut novels are so tightly plotted and powerfully written.
...solid and deliberate. Its chapters, set alternatingly in Russia and America, carry its mysterious plot to a satisfying resolution like an army of obedient soldiers following orders ... The writing is often masterly, and contains vivid details ... But Fitzpatrick is so fond of narrative symmetry, neat metaphors and redundant parallels that her characters, caged in these airtight constructions, fail to come alive ... Her true passion is the fictional Berlozhniki, and she erects a perfect model of this dysfunctional Russian town ... Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick seems so concerned with the integrity of her setting, so preoccupied with finding for it the right shade of darkness, that she manipulates its inhabitants like plastic figures in an architectural model ... solid yet unaffecting.