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Allow Me to Ruin Your Christmas
Freddy Cruz. Tuscany Bay, $12.95 trade paper (268p) ISBN 979-8-839759-13-8
College student Beckett, the protagonist of this clever revenge thriller from Cruz (They Canceled the DJ), lives with his widowed mother, Natasha, in Houston, Tex. He’s a devoted fan of Lex Griffin, a podcaster whose guests are “anyone shunned as beyond the pale for having heterodox opinions.” Griffin’s contrarian take on issues has affected Beckett far more than any of his professors’ views. But Beckett discovers two things about his hero that change the status quo. First, he arrives home to discover the podcaster having sex with Natasha. Even more significantly, Beckett learns the truth about his father’s death after finding out that Griffin previously lived in Minneapolis, where he worked in radio. Years before, in 2010, Griffin on a dare went to the Mall of America to announce on the air that Santa Claus isn’t real. His declaration sparked a road rage incident in the mall’s parking lot, which left Beckett’s father dead. Griffin escaped liability, but Beckett vows to make him pay. Cruz keeps the twists coming, shifting first-person narration between Beckett and his quarry. James Patterson fans will be pleased. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 02/17/2023