From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A bungled burglary sparks Starr's darkly humorous crime thriller. Carlos Sanchez wasn't expecting anyone to be home, much less have an entire clip emptied into him as he reached the top of the stairs of the brownstone he breaks into in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens. The gun-wielding psychologist, Adam Bloom, is almost equally surprised—instead of being hailed as a hero for defending his wife and daughter in his own home, the media vilify him as a crazed vigilante for using all 10 bullets. Even worse, the sociopathic Johnny Long, going along with his pal Carlos for an easy score, decides to make the Blooms pay in more blood for the incident after he escapes into the night. Targeting the wife and daughter, the vainly handsome Long may be a delicious bit of self-parody by the photogenic author, who remains unexcelled in portraying self-involved New Yorkers. Funny and suspenseful, this novel is Starr delightfully at the top of his game. Author tour.(Aug.)
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Psychotherapist Adam Bloom, wife Dana, and daughter Marissa seem to have it all: financial security, a lovely home in a leafy enclave in New York City, a loyal housekeeper, and each other. But Marissa has returned to the nest after graduation from Vassar full of angst about her future, and Adam and Dana do little but lacerate each other. Their privileged, neurotic lives are completely upended when Adam shoots a burglar who has entered their home. Cops, ravening media, Dana’s loathing of Adam’s gun, and the possibility that a second burglar may seek revenge turn Bloom family dynamics toxic—and deadly. Starr’s plotting is elaborate, and his development of principal characters is deft and detailed. The marital antagonisms will likely strike a chord with almost anyone who has been married for two decades. The problem is that the Blooms and the other characters are totally self-absorbed and not terribly interesting; Panic Attack is well put together, but crime fans usually want someone to root for. --Thomas Gaughan