Although Red Cat is Peter Spiegelman's third novel featuring New York City private investigator John March, it is the first one I've had the pleasure to read. It won't be the last. From page one, Spiegelman spins a gripping tale of betrayal, blackmail and murder, the key figure being a femme fatale known simply as Wren. Although Wren scarcely makes an appearance in Red Cat, her essence permeates every page. Seductive, brilliant, vindictive and downright bad, Wren is the absolute antithesis of the girl next door, unless you live in a particularly unsavory neighborhood. Of late, Wren has been producing, directing and co-starring in some nasty little videos in which the supporting actors, powerful socialites in some cases, had no idea that their performances were being filmed. Now somebody, perhaps Wren, is blackmailing them, and it falls to March to investigate the crime quietly, by no means an easy task, especially when the body of a woman eerily matching Wren's description washes up on shore under the Williamsburg bridge. Spiegelman offers reader the complete package: a killer storyline (literally), vivid characterizations (anyone who has ever dabbled in sibling rivalry will revel in the relationship between March and brother David), crisp dialogue and a twist or two to keep you guessing.

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