“Sexy and sophisticated. . . . One of the most interesting crime novels you're likely to encounter this year.”
—The Washington Post
“Lustrous. . . . Elegant. . . . The fashionable aesthetics of 'noir porn' are presented here in high style.”
—The New York Times Book Review
"Chillingly dark. . . . Peter Spiegelman [is] among the best of today's writers of noir."
—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Spiegelman doesn't waste a page in this viciously intelligent thriller.”
—New York Daily News
The Barnes & Noble Review
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
The glossy sheen of Manhattan noir that Peter Spiegelman brought to Black Maps and Death’s Little Helpers has become darker and more lustrous in Red Cat, a morality tale whose depiction of S-and-M performance art gives the story a peculiarly modern twist.
The New York Times
March's search for the killer keeps us guessing, but what distinguishes the novel is the level of the writing and Spiegelman's portraits of people whom he may not like but always seems to understand … he's a writer with an unusual mix of talents, and Red Cat is one of the most interesting crime novels you're likely to encounter this year.
The Washington Post
At the start of Spiegelman's fine third crime novel to feature New York City PI John March (after Black Maps and Death's Little Helpers), March's Wall Street executive brother, David, comes to March for help with a particularly nasty problem. David has been having torrid sex with a woman he met on the Internet who goes by the name of Wren, and now she's threatening to go public with their affair. David stands to lose his wife and his job unless March can find out what's going on. It turns out that Wren's not a blackmailer-she's a performance artist who videotapes men cheating on their wives, then sells the tapes to art collectors. When Wren turns up dead, David becomes the chief suspect. The melancholy March, his personal life in tatters, hovers constantly on the edge of depression, but he loves his work, and it's this passion that keeps him where readers will want him in the future: on the job. Spiegelman doesn't break new ground, but he continues to be one of today's best practitioners of neo-noir. Author tour. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Wall Street may be a rarefied world, but its inhabitants also can plumb the depths. John March is the black sheep of an investment banking family, formerly a cop and now a private investigator. When his very respectable older brother, David, comes to him for help, John quickly finds himself in a sordid world of perverse sex, dubious art, and, of course, murder. David is being harassed by a woman he met for a few sexual encounters. When she turns up murdered, David and his wife become the prime suspects. Spiegelman retired early from two decades on Wall Street, and his first March book, Black Maps (2003), won a Shamus Award. The second, Death's Little Helpers (2005), also made good use of financial background, but here we get more detecting and less white-collar ambiance. As John matures, so does Spiegelman. The writing is cleaner, the characters are varied and well drawn, and most of all, the plot is believably complex and full of shocking twists. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/06.]-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
John March (Death's Little Helpers, 2005, etc.) returns to the crime scene in the third installment of an impressive series. This time around, private detective John March is hired by his older brother David, a buttoned-up, power-hungry executive. Happily married, self-righteous David, it turns out, is being blackmailed by a one-night-stand he met through a website designed to broker casual sexual encounters. The situation worsens when the woman is found dead and David becomes a suspect in her murder. The two brothers have never been close, and working together exacerbates their contempt for each other. Indeed, investigating the blackmail scheme leads to uncomfortable truths about how manipulative and damaging siblings can be to one another, for the case hinges on a family nearly as unhappy as John March's. The murdered blackmailer, initially identified only by the tattoo of a red cat, is a young woman using her anonymous tricks to make performance-art films about sexual blackmail. She developed this scheme to quite literally act out her family secrets-just as March's investigation is organized around protecting his. The book's premise is certainly inventive-an old plot of sexual intrigue is nestled within a shiny new plot about techno culture-and John March is a worthy heir to the hardboiled detective. The moral landscape of the minor characters is richly drawn, pulsing with petty evils that call to mind the work of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. John March is perhaps less like Philip Marlowe than he is like Bill Smith, S.J. Rozan's updated Chandleresque detective, but he will doubtless become Smith and Marlowe's peer in the future. Gritty atmosphere and clever plotting enhance afine addition to the noir tradition.