Fade in on Perry Patetick, the anti-hero of this so-called anti-love story, as he’s about to lose his newspaper job and drift into the world of S&M, in particular D/S—D for “Dominance,” S for “submission.” Perry is a submissive, which means he gets chained up and beaten a lot. And you wouldn’t believe how much he enjoys it. While making the scene, he also makes such new acquaintances as Auntie Maim, Lady Pain, and Deprav-o, whose voluminous contributions to his exotic education are lavishly detailed. But life takes a fateful turn when he meets Karen Pashlust, scene name Karenina. Off-scene, she’s a respectable real-estate dealer, portly rather than svelte—from certain viewpoints she can look rather like Winston Churchill—but on-scene, she’s somebody whose erotic soul vibrates to Perry’s. They fall in love. They make plans to run off together. The fly in their ointment, however, is Karenina's husband. Bennie, clod though he is, adores Karenina almost as much as Perry does and won’t let her go. Stalemate—until suddenly Karenina is found murdered, beaten to death, and guess who becomes the cops’ number-one suspect. But Perry is one resourceful submissive, and nobody, but nobody, is going to set him up and get away with it.
Kadet’s debut has some of the mystery novel’s trappings (steady there, Agatha Christie), but it’s more identifiably a journey—toward pornography. Markers along the way are decadence, depravity, and sleaze.