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2.0 out of 5 starsPractitioners Of Deviant Acts Abound
Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2020
I found it interesting that some of the reviews said of THIRD PARTY that it had "adult content". Sorry, but I don't call kink, sadism, masochism and parlors that offer such things "adult", if we take "adult" to mean "mature", although true, it is clearly not suitable for non-adults. At least half of the main characters (more and more the further you get into it) are involved in this perversion, and it is presented as a normal, casual endeavor, a hobby, like going bowling or to the theater. As one of the characters describes herself, she is a "practitioner of deviant acts in the sack". A theme running through the book is choking a partner to near death in order to fully experience "trust" and "control". (I can think of healthier ways.) There are three female "voices" and all of them have characters involved in this, though we don't quite know how they relate to each other at first. I almost gave up in disgust quite early in the book, but there were some intriguing threads and little mysteries, so I reigned in my inner prude and kept on. It was often confusing which character was talking because they all had abusive backstories and strange men and kink in their lives, so they all started sounding alike. Furthermore, it became hard to remember who knew what because the reader is pretty much ahead of everyone. The story got really bogged down about 3/4 way through when it seemed the same ground was covered over and over. The ending was just a little too contrived and neatly tied, while at the same time being a bit of a "cheat" on the author's part. (I hate it when an author does that.) And, as others have stated, the gender feminism throughout was way too heavy-handed and, in my opinion, long out-of-date. Not a pleasant or satisfying book.
4.0 out of 5 starsAn excellent adult murder mystery novel. Strong characters
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2019
This is an excellent murder mystery novel. It really kept my attention the entire time, and I ended up reading it in one sitting in a few hours.
*Note - There are quite a few adult scenes depicted in the book, so I would definitely not recommend it for younger readers.
The story is told from the point of view of the three main characters; each chapter switches from one character's perspective to another. Jessica is a smart, strong firefighter, that really should be a police officer with her excellent detective skills. Kirsten is a stay at home mom whose kids have recently left for college. Margaux was a smart young law student, that also danced to raise money for school. The chapters from Margaux's perspective are set a few months in the past, and I thought the author did a great job of weaving the past and present together. I usually like books that take advantage of this method of storytelling, alternating back and forth to see the mystery from different character's eyes. As the story progressed, I really enjoyed how it led me through this puzzle with subtle clues and mostly realistic character motivations.
I liked the story, the twists, and the ending. The only element I didn't particularly care for, was it seemed like the book had somewhat of an agenda. I prefer a fun murder mystery novel, but this one also seemed to slightly over-vilify... to the point of losing some realism by the end.
All in all though, a great read. Not perfect, but if it can keep me reading for hours it must be pretty good!
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Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
Ms. Reeds again hits it out of the ball park with an equally well-written and developed thriller. Just loved the wife in the story. The occasional humor was very well placed. Can't wait to read any future books she writes. Bravo!
3.0 out of 5 starsA Tale Of Revenge but Overdone with Sexual Violence
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2019
This is about revenge and retribution. The idea behind the storyline is very good. However, the continuous use of sexual masochism as key, is totally unnecessary. I’m no prude, stick-in-the-mud or naive. Violent sex happens but on and on it goes in this book. I’m sure a better theme could’ve been thought up to achieve success the plot idea promised. Margaux Stritch is found hanged. Is it suicide or the result of perverted sex games? Jessica, a firefighter, who fancies herself as a detective, is at the scene (this is confusing but maybe the fire brigade attend these type of incidents in the USA?) along with Decker, the actual detective. The two seem to be the only people investigating and their enquiries lead into the murky underworld of deviant sex, blackmail and violence. The ‘third party’ who is trying to achieve justice, remains an unknown right to the end, which is a good point and the suicide is also questionable up to the end. The over use of aliases confuses so I shall not even start to name the other characters. Don’t get me wrong; this is readable but for goodness sake, can authors please find something else to titivate or gain interest other than violence towards women (whether the women enjoy it or not). Also, I’m not convinced that a firefighter would be allowed such free reign in police investigations.