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PANIC ATTACK by Jason Starr


by Jason Starr

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-38706-8
Publisher: Minotaur

The gunshots that defend a Forest Hills family from an intruder in their house touch off a powder keg as fatal for the family as for the burglar.

Even though his wife Dana has already dialed 911 and the police are on their way, Dr. Adam Bloom chooses to grab his Glock and confront the stranger his daughter Marissa warns him has broken in. Their face-off lasts only seconds. When it’s over, Adam’s ten-round clip is empty and career criminal Carlos Sanchez is dead. From that moment on, Adam expects everyone to treat him like a hero defending his home and family against the worst that could happen—even though there’s no evidence that Sanchez was carrying a weapon—and can’t understand why his wife and daughter are so horrified and the newspapers so bent on depicting him as a hot-tempered vigilante. But public relations are the least of the psychologist’s problems. Johnny Long, the old friend who’d agreed to back up Sanchez in the burglary, has fled the scene and vowed revenge. It’s not enough to kill Adam, he decides; he won’t be satisfied until he leaves all three Blooms dead and takes possession of everything they own. This turns out to be surprisingly easy, for the Blooms are a deeply dysfunctional family whose secrets Johnny has no trouble learning—especially after he begins dating Marissa—and exploiting to turn them against one another. Although Adam congratulates himself that “detecting abnormal behavior was his profession, after all,” he’s as imperceptive and as much in need of therapy as his wife and daughter. Even the self-styled Casanova who’s seduced his daughter is laughably obtuse about his own limitations. But that doesn’t stop him from wreaking high-intensity havoc on the Blooms.

Baleful and scorching. No one in the suspense field today does nasty as well as Starr (The Follower, 2007, etc.).