cover image Moth


Michael Takeda. Hot Redhead, $18.95 trade paper (194p) ISBN 978-1-73430-527-2

Takeda (Narcissus Is Dreaming) spins a macabre story of addiction, desire, and alluring monsters. Michael “Moth” Gallo, a gay 28-year-old heroin addict, returns from the U.S. to Urbino, Italy, at the turn of the 21st century. After a drug arrest, his much older brother, a lawyer, takes him in and he meets paralegal Arturo, who obsesses over recent murders committed by golden-eyed killers. Just a few days later, Moth is attacked during a hookup with a tight-lipped, golden-eyed stranger. Moth and Arturo team up to investigate these golden-eyed criminals while Moth drifts through his days, bumming around with his dealer, Orazio, and trying to squash his attraction to the straight Arturo. The novel takes a decidedly supernatural turn when, just as Arturo learns details about one of the murders involving a human emerging changed from a cocoon, Moth’s body wraps itself in a cocoon of its own in advance of a bizarre metamorphosis. The new Moth’s startling desires could have brutal consequences for everyone he cares about. Takeda’s tale is briskly paced and just creepy enough, though the vagueness surrounding Moth’s unusual transformation’s detracts from some of the pleasure. Still, readers looking for supernatural-tinged horror rendered with lyrical intensity will find plenty to enjoy. (Oct.)