cover image Up to No Good

Up to No Good

Carl Weber, . . Kensington/Dafina, $24 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-3178-9

Prolific, bestselling street-lit author Weber (Something on the Side ) delivers a soap opera–style cautionary tale of promiscuity and lust that, though twisty and entertaining, has its share of problems. Things quickly go wrong for the Black family—divorced father James, his ex-wife Crystal, engaged-to-be-married son Darnel and 25-year-old daughter Jamie—when Darnel catches his fiancée, Keisha, cheating on him with his best friend, Omar. After getting arrested for beating Omar “until I got all my venom out,” Darnel’s pain and humiliation drive him to stalk and torment Keisha. Meanwhile, Jamie learns a dangerous secret about her boyfriend, Louis, and ladies’ man James falls under the spell of a woman with questionable motives. As James, Darnel and Jamie switch narrative duties, betrayals and odd plot twists become the norm with at times shocking results, but awkward dialogue and implausible motivation distract from the fun. Though some of the surprises fall flat, this trashy page-turner should give fans what they want. (Feb.)