“No one is normal. Everyone is just pretending to be normal.”
Two of the main genres I tend to avoid are romance and erotica. I just don’t feel like the really contribute anything to my life and I don’t find them terribly interesting or fulfilling. BUT, when you add in a thriller aspect, I somehow enjoy both romantic thrillers and erotic thrillers. Two of my favorite books from 2017 were My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (a romantic thriller) and You by Caroline Kepnes (an erotic thriller). Maybe I just enjoy genre-bending novels that incorporate two genres into one story. Anyway, this was just like You in that it was captivating and un-put-downable.
This was such a unique and imaginative plotline. It is often described as a mixture between Dexter and Fifty Shades of Grey, and I can attest to the Dexter comparison. Deanna Madden is, quite simply, a killer with a conscience. She is a twenty-one-year-old girl who has a dark past and an intense desire to kill. She knows murder is wrong, so she hides away in her apartment and has done so for the past three years. To make a living, she begins camming (as Jessica Reilly) and has done quite well for herself. She is the #3 camgirl on the site and has over 200 clients. But at night, when she doesn’t have her work to distract her, her bloodlust becomes worse and begins to haunt her.
Deanna has many unique clients and one, in particular, begins to display some disturbing fantasies that could be more than just in his imagination. When Deanna hears some shocking news on the internet one day, she realizes that she has unique information that may just be able to help…but she’ll have to leave her apartment.
This book is most definitely one of the most unique plotlines that I’ve ever read, which I really appreciated. Plus, I LOVED Dexter, so this was right up my alley. I really liked Deanna’s character — even though she has these horrible demons, she’s strong enough to keep them in check, even though it’s to her own detriment.
Most of the book is set in Deanna’s apartment and is told in first-person narrative from her perspective. I found it incredible that Torre was able to make the story as captivating as it was, considering it was mostly told in one POV in one room. The narrative did switch every few chapters between a few different people, which were all told in third-person. Each chapter is labeled with the character’s name, except for Deanna’s chapters, which are distinguishable by the first-person narrative.
I do have a few criticisms of this book, but not many:
First of all, even though Deanna tells us how she is able to survive without ever leaving her apartment (thanks to Amazon, Jenny Craig, and a few helpful neighbors), but I can’t help but think that in actuality, this wouldn’t be possible. But that’s okay — I’m willing to suspend disbelief because Torre did a great job of covering pretty much all the bases.
Second, I felt like the reason that finally drew Deanna out of hiding after three full years was a bit unbelievable. I’m not saying that Deanna wouldn’t have wanted to save little Annie’s life, but I’m not sure that she would have been brave enough to actually leave her apartment to do so. And even if she was able to leave, would she really be able to acclimate so quickly to the outside world
Third, I felt like everything wrapped up a bit too neatly in the end. Don’t get me wrong — I was happy with how everything went down, but it was all a bit too rushed and everything fell perfectly into place. Knowing that there are two more books in this series, I was hoping for a major cliffhanger, but there really wasn’t one. It felt a lot like a stand-alone, and maybe that’s what it was when it was first written.
I am so excited to continue on with the series — I’ve heard the second book Do Not Disturb is even better!