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Savage Lane

Jason Starr

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : No Exit Press 

Published : 2015

Copyright : Jason Starr 2015

ISBN-10 : PB 1-84344-681-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-84344-681-1

Publisher's Write-Up

In Savage Lane, Jason Starr has crafted a searing tale of suspense that proves the adage: Love thy neighbour, but don t pull down your hedge. Karen Daily, recently divorced, lives with her two kids in a quaint suburb of New York City. She’s teaching at a nearby elementary school, starting to date again, and for the first time in years has found joy in her life. Mark Berman, Karen s friend and neighbour, wants out of his unhappy marriage, and so does his wife, Deb, but they have stayed together for the sake of their children.

Unbeknownst to Karen, while Mark’s marriage has deteriorated his obsession with her has grown. And as Mark’s rich fantasy life takes on a more sinister edge, rumours begin to spread about Karen and a bigger secret is uncovered. And soon Karen finds that Mark is not the only one who has taken an undesired interest in her.

Jason Starr is one of our most accomplished writers of the darkness that lies within the human heart, and Savage Lane is his most riveting and intimate novel yet a dark, domestic thriller and an honest, searing satire of a declining marriage, suburban life, and obsessive love.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (310517) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Rating 7/10
Savage Lane is one of those books that starts with an argument between a couple and moves on from there. Mark and Deb Berman are the couple in question, the argument is over new neighbour, Karen Daily, that Deb believes is having an affair with her husband.

Unknown to Mark though, is the fact that it is Deb who is having the affair. A torrid, dangerous relationship with Owen, Owen works at the golf club where Mark is a regular, but the affair between Owen and Deb feeds on their lust, and dangerous impulses, Deb knowing that if the affair was ever revealed, it would destroy her life, marriage, relationship with her children, and social standing within the well-to-do neighbourhood.

However, Owen’s obsession soon leads to pre-planned murder, leaving Deb’s body on the golf course, and not caring about the impact that his actions will have on the club, his own very dysfunctional family, or the neighbourhood, but then Owen’s socipathy leads him to build a fantasy life with the desirable Karen, even though he has also been seeing her daughter. Unknown to Owen, though, Mark also has designs on Karen, and the outcome for all three puts them all in a very dangerous position.

Savage Lane is one of those books which spends time building up characterisation, dialogue, relationship, and starts as it means to go on. There is no exposition, and all of the development is linear, meaning there is no back-story to get in the way of the action, which bullets along at a frenetic pace, with no dips in the action. It is one scene to another, one inciting incident to inevitable conclusion. Owen is drawn as a particularly unlikable character, but Jason Starr gives him reasons for that, whilst Mark is drawn as a successful, but buffoonish character, well meaning, but not really cut out for the action within the story-line.

There is a lot to admire in this book, for fans of crime and dark fiction it is ideal, but for readers of a slightly softer persuasion, some of the actions, characters and language can be a bit strong, and at time it is incredibly sexist, which suits the noirish undertones with the story, but a very strong book, and story nevertheless.
Ben Macnair (31st May 2017)

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