Beyond the Pale Motel

Francesca Lia Block

St. Martin's Press

Maternal, sexy Catt and her beautiful, daring best friend Bree are hairdressers at an L.A. salon called Head Hunter, and work out at a gym called Body Farm. They have over a decade of sobriety behind them and are getting close to living the lives they've always wanted.


But when Catt's husband, Dash, leaves her, and then her neighbor is brutally murdered, possibly by a man being called the Hollywood Serial Killer, Catt's world begins to come crashing down. The murdered victims all seem to bear a chilling resemblance to Bree. Catt suspects that Bree is the next target of the Hollywood Serial Killer...is she losing touch with reality or simply coming to terms with the truth?

In Beyond the Pale Motel, a terrifying and intensely erotic novel, Francesca Lia Block explores the dangers of modern living, loving and dying with lyrical edge and sensational attitude.


Read an Excerpt



At Head Hunter we massaged the scalps of our clients as if they were our lovers; we swept their snipped hair up off the shiny black floor (“A mirror for the Peeping Toms,” my best friend, Bree, joked); we sterilized the combs and brushes in blue liquid-poison Barbicide, in glass jars; we basked in the light of pale pink glass chandeliers and blasted nineties music. The Crystal Method, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, the stuff we loved when we were young and fucked-up, going to raves and grunge shows. Our development had probably been arrested back then, which was why



Praise for Beyond the Pale Motel

"Beyond the Pale Motel is a fast-paced, original, and highly sensual novel, set in an L.A. characterized by isolation and darkness, where true love is elusive in any of its forms. Block paints a convincing portrait of a woman in crisis, abandoned to her own self-destructive devices." —Steph Cha, Follow Her Home

Beyond the Pale Motel is sadder, darker, grimmer [than anything Francesca Lia Block has written], yet still glinting in spots with ethereal light and her trademark belief in the saving power of love.”—Denise Hamilton, Damage Control

"With a protagonist who's looking for love in all the wrong places, Francesca Lia Block's new novel is sexy and grim." —Ellen Datlow, editor of The Best Horror of the Year

“Mesmerizing and at times haunting, Beyond the Pale Motel is about how longings can warp us or shape us into something stronger.” —Gary Phillips, Warlord of Willow Ridge

"Beyond the Pale Motel is a can’t-stop-reading, gasp-out-loud sexy thriller that keeps you guessing at every turn.  Block holds up a dark mirror to the traditional love story.  She creates characters so real you feel they’ve done your hair, heard your sob story, slept in your bed.  Block reflects Los Angeles with as much distinction as Raymond Chandler and John Fante, but her Los Angeles has the cotton candy colored sunsets in the smog and the dark magic of the shadows." 
—Laura Lee Bahr, author of Haunt

Praise for The Elementals:

"Ariel Silverman shimmers in the very air between page and eyelashes. Tam Lin meets the tabloids."
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

"Well-paced and lushly written." —Kirkus Reviews

"The Elementals [is] a fever dream of a novel, an exercise in the surreal.—Booklist

"A compelling and quick read... will keep readers engaged and guessing as the pages fly by." —Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Francesca Lia Block

  • FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK is the acclaimed author of many books including the popular Weezie Bat series and The Elementals. She is the recipient of the ALA Lifetime Achievement Award, among others, and is published all over the world.

  • Francesca Lia Block Nicolas Sage
    Francesca Lia Block


Available Formats and Book Details

Beyond the Pale Motel

Francesca Lia Block



St. Martin's Press