Deviant Behavior

A Novel

by Mike Sager

“Mike Sager’s keen, journalistic eye and unique voice transfer to fiction with highly entertaining results…Deviant Behavior is a street-level, symphonic portrait of an American city.”–George Pelecanos, author, The Night Gardener, producer, HBO’s The Wire.

Gritty and eye-opening, playful and shocking, Deviant Behavior is the remarkable first novel from acclaimed magazine journalist Mike Sager.

Jonathan Seede is the picture of Washington, D.C. respectability, an urban pioneer with a pretty wife, a new baby, and a job at the town’s most esteemed newspaper. But ten blocks from the White House, on the notorious Fourteenth Street Strip, a war is raging over deviant behavior. And Seede is on the front lines, deep into a secret freelance project that’s taking him to a place where most people would never dare to go.

As he descends into an inferno of repressed urges and human frailties, Seede’s journey plays out against a brilliantly realized portrait of the nation’s capital, featuring pimps and hustlers, an accidental hooker, an honest cop, a storefront prophet/marijuana dealer, a beautiful teenage runaway, a crack-addicted music legend, an A-list gay activist, and a diminutive billionaire who is searching for the answers to life’s greatest questions in a crystal skull. A mad, vivid, and daring romp through a society in crisis, Deviant Behavior is the story of what happens when one frustrated father decides to Just Say Yes.

Sager portrays a vivid panorama of the American capitol, from self-righteous anti-vice yuppies to pure ghetto squalor, constantly juxtaposing the characters and plotlines to depict a synchronous view of social life and destiny. With some semi-profound truths fleshed out in a rollicking storyline where stark realism is fantastic enough, “Deviant Behavior” makes for a very entertaining, quick read with lots of laughs and gut churning tragicomedy. Definitely leaves one fiending for more. –Abiort Magazine, Canada 

“Do we give in to our urges, despite societal restrictions, and possibly lose everything? Or do we follow the rules and possibly lose ourselves? Sager answers those questions without saying a word about them, leaving it up to the reader to decipher what he means. And because of that…Deviant Behavior is a worthwhile read.”—Philadelphia City Paper

Mike Sager

Mike Sager is a bestselling author and award-winning reporter. He’s been called “the Beat poet of American journalism.” For more than forty years, he has worked as a writer primarily for the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, GQ, and Esquire.  Sager has written a dozen books; a number of his stories have inspired movies and documentaries, including the classic Boogie Nights. He is the editor and publisher of, a content brand.

Mike Sager