Book: Red Cat

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Red Cat: A John March Novel

Author: Peter Spiegelman
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

David March, John’s brother, has been having affairs with anonymous women he meets on the internet. Now one of these women is stalking him. David knows her only as Wren. She, however, knows everything about David—and she’s threatening to tell his wife and colleagues, ruining his life. With his marriage, career, and reputation at stake, David asks John to find her.

What John discovers is there is more to Wren than David knows. She’s an intriguing mystery, an internet pornographer and video artist with a penchant for turning the tables on her subjects. But when she turns up dead, John finds he’s no longer searching for a stalker—now he’s looking for a murderer, and the clues keep leading him back to his older brother’s doorstep.

Black Maps (“A stunner, a great debut roaring out of the gate”—Newsday)… Death’s Little Helpers (“Breaks new ground in detective fiction”—The Washington Post)…and now Red Cat, the third riveting installment in Peter Spiegelman’s thrilling series of novels featuring the brooding New York City private investigator John March.

With a troubled past and a job that attracts too much attention from the law, March has always been the black sheep of his staid merchant-banking family. Which makes the identity of his latest client all the more surprising: his smug older brother David.

David is desperate and deeply scared, and with good reason: a woman he met on the Internet, and then for several torrid sexual encounters, is stalking him. David knows her only as Wren, but she seems to know everything about him—and she’s threatening to tell all to his wife and his colleagues. His marriage, his career, and his reputation at stake, David wants John to find this woman and warn her off. Reeling from these revelations, John begins the search for Wren, and what he discovers both alarms and fascinates him. Part actress, part playwright, part performance-artist and noir pornographer, Wren is a powerfully compelling mystery—though no more so, John discovers, than his own brother.

But when a body surfaces in the East River, March suddenly finds he’s no longer searching for a stalker. Now he’s hunting a killer—and following a trail that leads ever closer to David’s door….


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The brutal murder of a beautiful woman; a wealthy, high-profile suspect; and plenty of eye-popping illicit sexual encounters make this third installment in Peter Spiegelman’s series featuring deeply flawed private investigator John March (Black Maps and Death’s Little Helpers) a page-turner of the highest order.

Still struggling to put the pieces of his life together after the murder of his wife years earlier, March is stunned when his egomaniacal and estranged older brother, David, shows up on his doorstep and practically demands help. David, it seems, has a long history of cheating on his wife; but his latest conquest—a redhead named Wren whom he met through an online service—has turned out to be more than he bargained for. Not only has she videotaped their sadomasochistic trysts, but David believes she’s stalking him. March attempts to track down the mysterious Wren; but before he can find her, she turns up floating face-down in a nearby river. As the authorities slowly close in on his smug brother as the prime suspect, March’s investigation into Wren’s shadowy past sends him charging headlong to his own potential demise…

Despite a title that sounds like a lost Dr. Seuss work, there’s nothing childish about Red Cat. With its focus on pornography, sexual obsession, and their horrific impact on families and careers, this adrenaline-fueled thriller is a down-and-dirty crime fiction masterpiece. Fans of contemporary neo-noir authors like Ken Bruen, Charlie Huston, and Jason Starr should make it a point to read Spiegelman as soon as possible. Highly recommended. —Paul Goat Allen

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