Savage Lane by Jason Starr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Savage Lane is Jason Starr's most accomplished novel yet, a searing, tense domestic thriller with hidden motives and dark secrets, where nothing is as it seems, and an honest, raw meditation on a declining marriage and obsessive love. When recently divorced Karen moves with her two kids into a nice suburb of New York she finds peace and joy for the first time in years. But unbeknown to Karen, her neighbour Mark, unhappy in his own marriage, has been living a fantasy life with her in the centre - a fantasy life that becomes a full-blown obsession.
Not having read anything by this author before I was not sure what to expect; a nicely written psychological drama which centres around residents of Savage Lane a typical suburban street of middle class people living with secrets and lies.
There is no central character as such as these residents lives do seem to intertwine we therefore get multiple perspectives from several characters which help to build momentum. We are introduced to Karen Daily a divorcee and her two children and her neighbours Mark and Deb Berman. Mark seems to develop an obsession with Karen when his own marriage hits a bad patch which leads friends and neighbours to speculate whether they are having an affair or not. For her part, Karen does not reciprocate the feelings and Starr successfully creates a rather creepy character in Mark who spends most of his time fantasising about her. Certainly his wife Debs seems to think he is having an affair with Karen although she is not so innocent herself having her own affair with an 18 year old high school drop out Owen Harrison who works at the local golf club.
Owen is also a disturbed character obsessing about Debs and eventually becoming unpredictable, and along with other characters in this novel their behaviour spirals out of control as their paths collide.
I don't want to spoil this so will not say more on the plot line - this is a well written novel, not the greatest psychological thriller I have ever read but a good paced enjoyable story that kept me interested and eager to read on to the end. Easily a 3 star novel for me and I would be happy to read another Jason Starr book as a result.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.