Lights Out

( 3 )


Ryan Rossetti and Jake Thomas were the two Major League-bound rivals on their high school baseball team, heading straight into history as the first two of Canarsie's favorite sons to make it out and make it big. Until Ryan hurt his pitching arm and landed a ten-dollar-an-hour life as a house painter. Lucky Jake made it all the way, and he and his ten-million-dollar signing bonus are heading back for a publicity-motivated homecoming weekend that has all of Brooklyn waiting to ...

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Lights Out

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Ryan Rossetti and Jake Thomas were the two Major League-bound rivals on their high school baseball team, heading straight into history as the first two of Canarsie's favorite sons to make it out and make it big. Until Ryan hurt his pitching arm and landed a ten-dollar-an-hour life as a house painter. Lucky Jake made it all the way, and he and his ten-million-dollar signing bonus are heading back for a publicity-motivated homecoming weekend that has all of Brooklyn waiting to explode in celebration.

But he's got a nasty surprise in store: Ryan is involved in an intense, addictive relationship with Jake's fiancée Christina, who now faces a choice between love in a Brooklyn tenement or a heartless marriage on Easy Street. Lights Out is vintage Jason Starr, a razor-sharp crime novel that brilliantly combines biting social satire, explosive suspense, and honest, revealing human drama.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The glitzy world of major league baseball meets the mean streets of Brooklyn in Jason Starr's noir thriller, Lights Out -- a novel about two Canarsie baseball prodigies: one who made it to the big leagues and another who, plagued by injury, now works as a housepainter and still lives with his bickering parents in the old neighborhood.

Jake "J.T." Thomas, multimillionaire outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates and reigning National League batting champion, is returning home to Brooklyn for what he believes to be a quiet weekend visit. But old friends, family members, and fans of all ages have come out of the woodwork to get a glimpse of the handsome young superstar. Huge banners welcome J.T., and news of his arrival is on every local television channel -- which infuriates Ryan Rossetti to no end. Rossetti, an old teammate of J.T.'s who once had just as much major league potential until an elbow injury ended his playing days forever, sees in J.T. everything that he rightfully deserves but doesn't have -- fame, fortune, adoration, etc. Rossetti, however, does possess one thing that Thomas never will: the love of Christina Mercado, J.T.'s high school sweetheart and current fiancée. This is the weekend that Christina is going to break up with the womanizing megastar and finally end their fiasco of a relationship so that she can start her life with Rossetti. But instead of ending it as planned, Christina and J.T. set a wedding date! Thus begins a series of events that includes psychotic crackhead gangbangers, more than a few sex scandals, and multiple bloody murders.

Lights Out moves like an out-of-control nitrous oxide–injected muscle car with no brakes. Strap yourself in and prepare for one helluva wild ride… Paul Goat Allen
From the Publisher
Praise for Jason Starr and Lights Out:

"Lights Out has the New York sound, the energy, dialogue that's on the beat…. Read it and you'll go hunting for Jason Starr's other books, I promise."

—Elmore Leonard, author of The Hot Kid

"Lights Out is a fast, furious page-turner. This book is a huge treat."

—Jeffery Deaver, author of The Cold Moon

"Starr's latest crime novel sizzles with streetwise dialogue and furious emotional energy…Highly recommended."

—Library Journal

"A wickedly entertaining ride down a dead-end street."


"A welcome addition to [Starr's] body of quality work."

Chicago Sun-Times

"Jason Starr is hypnotically good—-if you miss him, you're missing some of the best new writing there is."

—Lee Child, author of One Shot: A Jack Reacher Novel

"Starr's finest work to date...a dark, brooding character study that falls somewhere between The Wanderers by Richard Price and Dennis Lehane's Mystic River." —Bookreporter

Publishers Weekly
In this strangely fascinating riff off classic noir, baseball slugger Jake Thomas gets a hero's welcome on a quick trip home to Canarsie. With millions in endorsements on the line, he's anxious to announce a wedding date with his high school sweetheart, Christina, hoping to counteract a statutory rape claim that's about to go public. But his fianc e has been seeing former pitcher Ryan Rossetti, who blew out his arm and now works a dead-end job as a house painter. Insanely jealous of the "J.T. fever" sweeping the hood, the self-involved Ryan is determined to keep Christina for himself. Starr (Twisted City) is a master at portraying Brooklyn as a dark corner of hell (and even gives genre fans a taste of one of the sexual obsessions of past noir master David Goodis), but J.T and Ryan prove almost too unpleasant to take. When the ex-con Saiquan comes into play, riding along for some payback on a gang shooting, the plot jumps into overdrive and heads mercilessly for Starr's always bleak finish line. Author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
High school baseball stars Jake Thomas and Ryan Rossetti were destined to make it out of the mean streets of Brooklyn and into the major leagues, but a career-ending injury to Ryan's pitching arm sends him back to living with his parents and making $10 an hour as a house painter. Charmed Jake becomes one of the most promising young players, earning a $10 million signing bonus-and an ego to match. Jake returns home for a celebration weekend, mainly to announce his engagement to high school sweetheart Christina Mercado, not out of love but to negate the bad publicity from a sex scandal lurking in his past. Meanwhile, Christina has fallen in love with Ryan and must choose between living in Brooklyn with a house painter or a loveless future on Easy Street. Marking his hardcover debut, Starr's latest crime novel (after Bust, coauthored with Ken Bruen) sizzles with streetwise dialog and furious emotional energy. His latest contribution to the world of crime fiction is a home run. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 5/1/06.]-Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Starr raises the stakes from his usual sour-noir entries (Twisted City, 2004, etc.) by making his entire cast despicable. Every time Ryan Rossetti thinks about Jake Thomas, he wants to puke. Back in Canarsie High, both of them were hot prospects dogged by baseball scouts. Sure enough, Jake's coming off a .351 season with the Pirates and looking forward to a zillion-dollar free-agent deal next year. But Ryan, his pitching career ended in the minors by a popped ligament, is making ten dollars an hour as a housepainter. His one consolation is that Christina Mercado, Jake's childhood-sweetheart-turned-neglected-fiancee, has agreed to leave Jake for Ryan during the star's celebratory visit to his hometown. In another corner of Brooklyn, ex-con Saiquan Harrington vows vengeance against Jermaine Carter, the fellow Crip who shot Saiquan's homeboy Desmond Johnson and left him paralyzed. Meanwhile, Jake, who can barely remember Christina's last name, learns that he's going to need an uplifting human-interest story fast in order to neutralize an impending statutory-rape charge. The Rube Goldberg plot hurls these raging citizens together with all the energy of a nuclear-powered kaleidoscope. It's obvious that the end will be violent, but which specific acts of violence are anyone's guess. Noir fiction has long mired ordinary guys in impossible situations. Starr's distinctive contribution is to make virtually everyone involved seethe with resentment from the opening scene. The result is scorching.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312359737
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Starr is the Barry and Anthony Award-winning author of six previous novels. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, and now lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Seems ok

    I wish the description was actually a description instead of an "I love me" wall for the author... this want the book by the this title I was looking for. Seems like a decent story, but it's not my cup of tea. I wish I could return it, since I'll most likely never finish reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Could've been a contender!

    I was reading along, enjoying every reference, every visual description and the fresh style of writing. Then, quite suddenly and without any preparation by me......THE STORY ENDS!!!!!!! I was thinking maybe there was an error during the transfer from actual book to ebook. NO......not the case. I will never read another book by this author. Don't waste your time! Unless the author steps up and actually finishes the book. Pass on this one!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    powerfully character driven urban noir

    Ryan Rossetti and Jake Thomas made Canarsie High School¿s baseball team nationally ranked they were both sure shot major leaguers. Jake reached the big leagues where he stars for the Pirates having just completed an all star season hitting 351. However, Ryan saw his pitching career snap to a sudden halt when he tore a ligament. Whereas Jake is making the big bucks in Pittsburgh, Ryan paints houses back home in Brooklyn for less than a living wage. --- Now the superstar is coming back to Canarsie to celebrate his great success and to change his image from an out of control hedonist to a caring give something back to the community person. His agent warns Jake to behave because he will most likely face a statutory-rape arrest that could end his chances of obtaining the big endorsements. Thus Jake returns to Brooklyn as a hero, but also to ask his high school sweetheart, Christina Mercado, whose surname he cannot remember, to marry him. Christina realizes she is candy to sweeten Jake's image and is seeing Ryan. At the same time the triangle plays out in New York City, other locals have grudges with one another that will violently disrupt Jake¿s triumphant return to the place where his glory started. --- From the start readers anticipate tempers overflowing as jealousy, anger, and resentment explode and not just with the baseball players. The story line is action-packed from the moment that readers understand the paths taken by the two former Canarsie superstars and never slows down until the final violent walk off homer. Readers who appreciate a powerfully character driven urban noir will enjoy the aptly named Jason Starr¿s grand slam thriller. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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