sasha press
Rex Reviews

Rick Lawton's perceptive novel The Rex evokes the recent past (early 90s) in New York City with sharply-drawn characters & an absorbing plot that might well have been drawn from today's blogs & NYT Magazine features. The Rex is an old hotel that may have seen better days but that remains unforgettably rooted in the community, and the characters that inhabit and haunt it are brilliantly imagined & carefully drawn. Freda is Everywoman, sharp & sweet, capable & vulnerable - a marvelous creation. 

As with all good New York novels, his city becomes a main character, & his human characters make whatever peace they can with the metropolis & each other. It's so well crafted that we're reminded again & again of how New York lives & breathes, how it changes & remains the same. 

Taut prose, an exciting plot, characters that live on the page - Can't ask for more. Highly recommended.

-James Thede

The Rex subtly examines age-old questions: individualism versus group involvement, when to fight back, and when to let things slide, and who is in charge in a well-sustained suspenseful format. 

A ragtag group of highly individual New Yorkers, living in a cheap East Side hotel, is confronted with what at first appear to be vague and unrelated threats; residents are inexplicably dropped from welfare roles, others are assaulted, thugs grab every available vacancy, and rooms are boarded up for renovations. 

The Rex itself, and longtime resident's homes are at stake. An apparently omnipotent developer is ill prepared when "The People" led by a determined female social worker fight back. 

Rick Lawton's first novel is a neat little metaphor about disparate elements coming together, and no one knowing what mixing it up will produce as an end product.

-B. "B." 

Copyright Sasha Press 2014