cover image Beyond the Pale Motel

Beyond the Pale Motel

Francesca Lia Block. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-03312-3

In this fast-paced, if shallow, erotic thriller from Block (The Elementals), L.A. hair stylist Catt struggles with alcoholism and with the departure of her husband, Dash, who leaves her for “starlet du jour” Darcy London. Meanwhile, a serial killer is dismembering women in Hollywood. Within a month, Catt hooks up with her godson Skylar’s baseball coach, Jarell Hardin; Carlton, a Canadian artist she meets on an Internet dating service called FU Cupid; and even with Dash’s brother, Cyan Berns. Each encounter proves unsatisfactory. Catt manages to stay sober with the help of best friend Bree, Skylar’s mom, and AA sponsor Shana, a “hot lesbian documentary-film producer.” Catt’s worries about the serial killer intensify after her neighbor, a model and aspiring actress, becomes his third victim. Abandoned by Bree, Catt hits the bottle and sets the stage for the climactic confrontation with the killer. Few readers will care about her fate. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)