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REAL EASY by Marie Rutkoski

Three Women meets Tana French in a compulsive, unflinching and unexpectedly hopeful thriller set in a midwestern strip club.

It’s 1999, and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club.

She’s not used to taking anyone under her wing – after all, between her disapproving boyfriend and his daughter, who may as well be her own child, she has enough to worry about. But when Samantha overrides her better judgment to drive a new dancer home, they are run off the road. The police arrive at the scene of the accident – but find only one body.

Georgia, another dancer, is drawn into the investigation as she tries to assist Holly, a detective with a complicated story of her own. As the point of view shifts from police officers and detectives to club patrons, the women circle around a list of suspects, all the while grappling with their own understanding of loss and love.

As they get closer to the truth they must each confront a fundamental question:

How do women live their lives knowing that men can hurt them?


Title : Real Easy
Author : Marie Rutkoski
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 320
Genre : Thriller
Publisher : Tinder Press
Release Date : January 18, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★


Micky’s 2 star review

Headlines:
Plot potential
Choppy writing
Many, many POVs

This is a hard review for me to write as I love MR’s books in the fantasy worlds she’s written but I didn’t love this despite wanting to. The stripper club world of Real Easy was engaging, interesting and fascinating, all the more for being set in the late 1990s.

This ‘sisterhood’ of dancers behind the scenes was full of connections, jealousy, support and rivalry. I connected as reader with Samantha but ultimately that was a mistake. The other characters in this story were tolerable but there were not any that I could connect with. Once the book hit 30%, the POVs exploded and it made for difficult reading. Adding to that, the choppy moves from one POV to another, sometimes after a page or two were jolting. This was a book written with very descriptive detail.

Plot wise, I was on board for the first quarter but I stayed around for completion. I didn’t enjoy the plot and I ultimately found it a dissatisfying story.

From a social commentary perspective of the time, the seedy world that was portrayed, this book had fascinating aspects but ultimately the execution of the story and the POVs didn’t work for me.

There are lots of content warnings for this book, so please DM me if you want to know more.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an early copy of this book.

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