Cover image for Someone you know : a novel
Someone you know : a novel
Zebrun, Gary.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : Alyson Books, 2004.
Physical Description:
198 pages ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Newspaper columnist Daniel Caruso has a wife he loves deeply, a daughter who means everything to him, and a secret that could destroy them. At a conference in Seattle, he meets and spends a passionate night with Stephen Hart, a handsome firefighter. When he is home with his family, the serenity of a weekend morning is shattered by the arrival of a message: a gruesome package, the contents of which make clear that Stephen Hart has been murdered. As chilling messages increase in regularity, Stephen's killer becomes puppet-master terrorising Daniel in a matrix of secrets and sex.

Author Notes

Gary Zebrun is the editor of The Providence Journal. A graduate of Brown University, he is the recipient of a Yaddo fellowship, a MacDowell fellowship, and a Breadloaf fellowship, and previously taught creative writing at the University of Michigan before

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

From early on, this one ain't for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. News columnist Daniel Caruso receives a package containing a distinctive, utterly personal body part chopped off his most recent one-night stand, Stephen Hart. That the handsome firefighter has been mutilated and murdered is the most dramatic incitement in the novel, but not the only one. Was Stephen, the first to enter Daniel anally, HIV-positive despite his denials? The AZT Daniel found in Stephen's medicine cabinet just after their tryst is most suggestive, and not of good news, since the condom broke in medias res. As if that weren't enough, Daniel is deeply closeted and intent on keeping his wife and daughter from learning about his occasional flings with men, especially one with a murdered man. Before long, the killer-turned-stalker in this stark, tightly written murder mystery is threatening the newsman's family and dragging Daniel into the netherworld of S&M bars. Obviously not every mystery fan's cup, but fans of dark thrillers will find Daniel's journey quite compelling. --Whitney Scott Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his uneven mystery debut, Zebrun successfully captures the angst of a closeted gay man, torn between the wife and teenage daughter he doesn't want to hurt and his desire for other men. Providence newspaper columnist Daniel Caruso has a big problem: the men he has sex with, starting with a firefighter he meets on a business trip to Seattle, tend to end up dead and mutilated, victims of a sadistic killer with an uncanny ability to track Dan's every move. The author doesn't explain the passive Dan's sudden urge to have gay sex at every opportunity, but his risky, compulsive behavior does serve to ratchet up the tension. Readers will sigh with relief when Dan finally turns for help to a police detective friend with whom he once had a homosexual encounter and he sends his family to safety in Florida. After a lengthy interlude at an S&M bar in Manhattan's meat-packing district ("They were thinking of the sting of ropes and the bite of whips"), the story lurches to a rushed, open-ended climax at an abandoned Woonsocket boathouse. A small suspect pool, perfunctory police work, a few important questions left unanswered (did the firefighter have AIDS or not?) and a serial killer who too easily commits his crimes and eludes detection all make for a less than satisfying thriller/whodunit. (Apr.) Forecast: The sex is too explicit to attract straight fans of cozier gay mysteries like those by Michael Craft and Mark Richard Zubro, but a blurb from Edmund White will certainly boost interest among gay male readers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved