By: Marie Rutkoski
Thriller / Mystery
Overall: This book takes place back in 1999 and is told from multiple character’s points of view. The main character is Samantha and she works as a dancer at the Lovely Lady Strip Club. She lives with her boyfriend, who is not happy about her working at the club, but he lost his job. He has a daughter from a former relationship, so Samantha feels responsible for providing for them both. She does not mind working there, makes good money, and stays out of trouble. But, one night, she gives Jolene, a naive new girl, a ride home. Samantha notices that they are being followed, and then they are run off the road. When the police get to the accident, the new girl, Jolene, is dead and Samantha is missing.
Two main detectives start working on the case. They are trying to determine who ran the women off the road, and who murdered Jolene. Also, they need to quickly try to find out what happened to Samantha and where she is. The rest of the story goes back and forth between the ladies that work at the strip club, other cops that work at the station, and all the potential suspects. All the while the detectives are trying to figure out who committed the crimes, why did they, and where is Samantha?
Ovations: I liked the mystery elements of the plot. The whodunnit question of who committed the crimes was good. I did not know who the killer was until they told me near the end of the book. I also liked that this story was told from many different points of view. From their story, we got to know what each character was thinking and why. It was also very interesting to get a backstage look at happenings of a strip club.
Oh Well: This book is very dark and depressing. You get to know many different characters and their backstories. But, they are have depressing or sad stories. Every.Single.One. There is more than just one murder in this book. I can’t say more than that, or I will give spoilers away. But, I can say that there is also abuse and damage and pain and intimidation by men to women all throughout this book. That is something I personally do not like to read about. You really feel the oppression of women and their powerlessness throughout the entire book. (And I don’t mean from their being strippers. That actually gives them some power back over the men.) Just the aspect of all the male domination and violence towards women was really sad and such a downer to feel the whole time I was reading this
Opinion: This is a disturbing, and bleak novel. I found the whole story sad and depressing. Then the author threw in the last chapter for no reason I can think of but just to make the reader even more sad and depressed! I did not care for all the violence towards women that I had to read about in this book. It made it really difficult to finish the story. But I did want to finish reading to find out who the killer was and if they were caught and punished. I would not really recommend this book. There are so many, much better thrillers out there you could be reading instead. Rating 4 out of 10