cover image Fugitive Red

Fugitive Red

Jason Starr. Oceanview, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-60809-314-4

Manhattan real estate agent Jack Harper, the hapless narrator of this uneven crime novel from Starr (Savage Lane), hasn’t made a sale in months. A recovering alcoholic, he loves his eight-year-old son, but his marriage to the boy’s mother, Marie, is dying. Jack reconnects with an old friend, a former bandmate looking to buy an apartment, who recommends that he try the cheating site Discreet Hookups. After yet another argument with Marie, Jack extends his “history of bad decision-making” by joining the site and almost immediately falling for Sophie Ward, who goes by Fugitive Red on the site. A planned hookup goes horribly wrong when Jack discovers Sophie murdered in her townhouse and then, of course, becomes a person of interest. He can’t comprehend why he must be investigated and generally sabotages himself with one idiotic action after another. Smart, convincing dialogue compensates only in part for a trite solution to the murder and a denouement that strains credibility. Starr’s fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Murray Weiss, Catalyst Literary Management. (Nov.)