cover image Lights Out

Lights Out

Jason Starr, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $22.95 (296pp) ISBN 978-0-312-35972-0

In this strangely fascinating riff off classic noir, baseball slugger Jake Thomas gets a hero's welcome on a quick trip home to Canarsie. With millions in endorsements on the line, he's anxious to announce a wedding date with his high school sweetheart, Christina, hoping to counteract a statutory rape claim that's about to go public. But his fiancée has been seeing former pitcher Ryan Rossetti, who blew out his arm and now works a dead-end job as a house painter. Insanely jealous of the "J.T. fever" sweeping the hood, the self-involved Ryan is determined to keep Christina for himself. Starr (Twisted City ) is a master at portraying Brooklyn as a dark corner of hell (and even gives genre fans a taste of one of the sexual obsessions of past noir master David Goodis), but J.T and Ryan prove almost too unpleasant to take. When the ex-con Saiquan comes into play, riding along for some payback on a gang shooting, the plot jumps into overdrive and heads mercilessly for Starr's always bleak finish line. Author tour. (Sept.)