San Francisco Magazine is now on its third monthly installment of Dead Meat, a serialized crime novel written by Robert Beringela, a pseudonym of a “well-fed food-world insider.” In the story’s first installment, titled “A Vegan’s Vengeance,” Beringela introduces his readers to Alfie Falfa, a malcontent freegan who happens to have celebrity chef Jock Rapini tied up in the trunk of his car.
Rapini has a reputation for showmanship and his character development amounts to descriptions of his brutish appearance (fauxhawk, earrings) and displays of machismo (hence his name). His personality, combined with his use of animal flesh as food, disgusts Falfa, and through the next two chapters the kidnapper uses him and other hostages to further his anti-animal-product agenda. There’s no indication of how many chapters there will be, but I’d guess at least five total, if not more.
The writing is entertaining if nothing else, although the food puns (running “afoul”) are sometimes so groan-inducing that you’ll be glad you’re not reading it all at once. It’s what Raymond Chandler or Dashiel Hammett might have cranked out if they had been raised in modern San Francisco, read Bon Appetit nonstop, and were really, really hungry at the time of writing.