cover image Savage Lane

Savage Lane

Jason Starr. Polis (PGW, dist.), $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-940610-64-1

A surfeit of toxic behavior surrounds the aptly named Savage Lane in a supposedly idyllic Westchester, N.Y., suburb, the setting for this creepy—not in a good way—domestic suspense novel from Anthony Award–winner Starr (The Craving). Mark Berman, a 44-year-old Citibank systems analyst, is so besotted with neighbor Karen Daily, the local hot divorcée, that he fails to notice that her interest in him doesn’t extend beyond friendship. Or that his alcoholic, jealous wife, Deb, has been carrying on a highly dangerous affair for two years. Starr has some startling plot twists up his sleeve, beginning about a third of the way through after a murder ratchets up the stakes. But he doesn’t give the reader much of anyone to root for, except Karen and late-arriving Det. Larry Walsh, who has his own issues. Too much of the book feels like watching middle-aged moms Karen and Deb engaging in a name-calling, wrestling-on-the-ground cat fight—somewhat titillating but ultimately just uncomfortable and sad. (Oct.)