By Kate Kinsey
Expected publication: September 6th 2012 by eKensington
Genre: Adult / Thriller / Crime Mystery / BDSM / Romance
A BDSM thriller
Detective Tom Hanson has a string of grotesquely mutilated bodies on his hands and no answers—aside from the fact that the victims were members of an underground sex club catering to singular erotic tastes. Tastes the long, lean detective has sampled himself in the arms of his former lover, a fiery redhead who offered the most erotic, irresistible sex he’d ever encountered. Until the night she’d begged for the one thing he couldn’t give, and he lost her forever.
Gina Larsen is the only one who can guide Hanson through the fringe world of dark fantasy and desire that lies hidden deep beneath the Bible Belt. Lured into her lair by a quest for justice, Hanson discovers his hunger for Gina has only grown stronger and deeper…beyond the edge of control. Soon he’s shedding his last inhibitions in the search for answers, but the more she draws him into her erotic web, the less he can distinguish between passion and duty, pleasure and pain…good and evil.
~ Goodreads Blurb
To begin with, this doesn’t seem like erotica to me at all. I found it labeled that way on NetGalley and Barnes&Noble when I looked up the link, but to me this is definitely not erotica. It does portray some graphic adult scenes, violence, language and such, but it’s mainly a thriller about a serial killer targeting a BDSM community, so, you know, it’s gonna give you some scene shots and stuff, so to speak. The adult scenes are very graphic and hot, and the BDSM bits aren’t lighthearted though they are fewer, considerably fewer then erotica would call for. There’s also an element of romance, but it’s not the main focus, the crime mystery / thriller is. That being said, let’s move on. 🙂
To me, in these sort of books, the make or break element is mood, atmosphere. After reading the first chapter I wasn’t sure what sort of mood I got for the story, but as Hanson and the crime part of the book began I was hooked and totally loving it. Tension thick enough to cut through, conflict all over the place, this was just off the chart awesome. The writing was awesome on all accounts, crime thriller, BDSM lifestyle, romantic arc, even the humor bits, each was written great and they combined really well together.
I laughed out loud more then a couple of times, I winced, I rolled my eyes, I was intrigued. To top off the greatness of the plot itself and how the story unfolded, there were these fabulous, fabulous quotes at every chapter’s debut, and they were seriously awesome. I liked how where they were inserted gave me a different perspective on the quotes themselves, I mean not in the Marquis de Sade case, but in others like Shakespeare and etc, I’m not gonna spoil the surprise. The story itself had this element of constantly giving you another perspective on things. The BDSM community for instance, where it could have been all about the whips, chains and scenes, it was more about the people in the community and not as kinksters but as people. There were bits when one character or another would talk about the lifestyle that I found truly enlightening and touching, and I’m one of those people who love kinky reads.
This changing your perspective sort of effect was a constant in this book, because even the crime part of the story ended up in a surprising and I must say rather genius sort of way. I mean, being a total crime geek and loving those detective dramas, I tend to see through some crime plots like they’d be glass, but in this case, I totally didn’t. I had some suspicions, and I was partly in the right direction, but not all the way. So the “nose” worked, somewhat, but totally not all the way. If you love reading crime mysteries, you’ll know how awesome it is to be surprised by the ending. I was surprised, and I loved the sort of dark tone of it. I will obviously say nothing precise or spoilery, but I’m betting you’ll like that ending.
The characters were really cool, again as the read went on I saw some of them through different perspectives as things evolved, Gina and Hanson in particular. The romantic arc was really cool, but then again I do have a sort of sadistic pleasure in reading about tortured characters. Less common to romantic arcs, they’re not newly acquainted, they have history together and it was intense history to boot. They both changed since it ended, Hanson had a really intense chemistry with her and I loved how he wrapped his head around his own self and needs and came to terms (somewhat, lol) with it. They were both complex characters, Gina more then him I’ll say, and I found her utterly fascinating. This is a rare occurrence yet again, I tend to love the male characters more in these sort of stories, but Gina just seduced me, completely and irrevocably. She had that power / vulnerability ambiguity about her, this air of strength that I just couldn’t help but respond to. I can totally see why poor Hanson is so lost in her, I mean, it’s crystal clear she’s one of those amazingly interesting women. Rawr.
Griggs was a jerwad, intolerant and narrow minded and with no mind-to-mouth filter (which was oddly endearing), but he managed to make me laugh a lot despite being totally unpleasant by default because of the stuff he said and his attitude towards some things. This speaks a lot about the writing, again, it’s a rare case that a character comes off as a jerkwad because of intolerance but somehow manages to be half-charming and fun as well, but Griggs did that. I was totally lost between wanting to smash his teeth in and wanting to just hug him for making me laugh, and here again we find the different perspectives theme that seems to run all through the book, in all sorts of directions.
That’s just genius, if you ask me. There’s this ambiguity of all things, and I mean all of them, that just appealed to me in a way I think few if any books did so far.
Curb appeal for this book, off the charts. Absolutely fabulous cover, really interesting blurb. Were I to flip through the pages (I always do that instead of checking the first page, by the way), I’d be totally sold, but I’d be without it as well, just on cover + blurb.
So all in all, this was a really good read, it was fun, scary, it made me think, it was sort of playful and dark at the same time, totally thrilling and it kept me guessing through and through. I definitely say give this a shot, I had a real good time reading it and it has re-read potential just because of this awesome changing your perspective sort of impact it has on you as a reader; I rarely do re-reads, I know some people love to re-read but I’m more of the new read adept myself, I mean there are SO many books out there waiting for me, once I’ve read one, no matter how much I liked it, it’s somehow more tempting to seek the next thrill then to revisit the ones I’ve already discovered. I think this says a lot about me, lol.
Therefor, a story has to have a very special kind of something beyond plot certainly, I’ve got to be obsessed with a character or fall in love with what the book does to my mood to be eligible for re-read. This book is a latter case, I really loved what this read did to my mood, it was a lifesaver really because I was in a really dark place when I began reading it and I found myself back in balance after.
So there you go, a change of perspective is balm to the soul.
Detectives – hot or not? Am I the only one who finds these guys just so… yummy? There’s just something about the fact they solve mysteries for a living and catch the bad guys, I dunno, but it’s like a magnet for me. What about you? Who’s your favorite ever detective and where is he/she from?