Thursday, March 08, 2007

Page 99: "Red Cat"

Peter Spiegelman did me the honor of putting his latest novel, Red Cat, to the Page 99 Test.

Ken Bruen, S.J. Rozan, Christopher Reich, and many, many others loved the novel, but allow me to quote from my own review:
No fan of the private detective novel should miss the “John March mysteries.” Author Peter Spiegelman just keeps getting better with each outing.

Spiegelman introduced John March, a Manhattan-based private eye, in Black Maps. In that book, March’s client was a wealthy investment banker threatened by blackmail. March survived that case and reappeared in Death's Little Helpers for a more challenging assignment - and with a new girlfriend. Now March is back in Red Cat, this time with his unbeloved brother David as the client in what sets up as another extortion scheme. The girlfriend is gone, replaced with a part-time lover whose needs are more compatible with March’s.

The melancholy March fits right in with his noirish New York. “Everyone was in a bad mood,” opens Black Maps. “It was a palpable thing in midtown, pungent as the bus exhaust on the cold evening air and as loud as the traffic.” The air in the first sentence of Death’s Little Helpers is just as toxic: “'As a husband, he was a lying, selfish prick,' Nina Sachs said, and lit yet another cigarette.” No carcinogens pollute the atmosphere in the first lines of Red Cat, and it’s just as well: the tension in the air between John and David March is enough to cause cancer.
Read the entire review.

Visit Spiegelman's official website for more information -- including synopses, reviews, and excerpts -- about all three John March novels, and read the Page 99 Test for Red Cat.

--Marshal Zeringue