cover image Seeing Strangers

Seeing Strangers

Sebastian J. Plata. Agora, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-951709-79-2

New Yorker Greg Kelly, the sex-obsessed narrator of this niche thriller from Plata (Freak ’N’ Gorgeous), is in an open relationship with his husband, Cristian. Greg is addicted to hookup apps because of their unpredictability (“You can log into Grindr every ten minutes all day at work and get nothing but crickets”). Greg and Cristian have arranged for a friend, Amelia, to be their pregnancy surrogate, and once their child arrives, Greg is to stick to monogamy. But with Amelia in her second trimester, Greg leaps at every possible opportunity for sex, including a Grindr invitation from “a hot, muscly Latino.” When Greg arrives at the Brooklyn address designated for the meetup, the hunk doesn’t show and sends taunting text messages instead (“Better be more careful, handsome. Dick’s not worth losing everything over”). Greg eventually suspects who is behind the messages, but dozens of pages replete with graphic depictions of sex pass before the reader learns much of any interest. Elegant prose makes up only in part for the thin veneer of a suspense plot. The appeal of this one is limited. Agent: Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative. (June)