*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A regular Sunday night in a Las Vegas strip club is rocked when a local oddball dies mysteriously, during his private dance.
Amber falls immediately in lust with the hot paramedic who arrives, and follows him outside, anticipating sizzling romance. But, her casual encounter quickly descends into a terrifying, twisted nightmare from which she is
unable to escape.
Five days later, and it’s Lana’s next shift at the club; she’s a fly-in-fly-out stripper paying her way through law school – she’s also Amber’s best friend.
Where is Amber? And what about the dead client? Was it an accident? Suicide? Or murder?
Finding neither the police, nor the club are taking much interest, Lana conducts her own inquiries, even though she finds herself the victim of a social-media hate campaign, and an ex-boyfriend who is sending her death threats. She’s desperate to uncover the truth about the death, but the person she most needs to speak to is Amber, who has failed to show up for her shift yet again…
Lana is thrust into a web of lies and deceptions she is determined to unravel, in which everyone is a suspect.
An addictively dark, psychological thriller laced with steamy romance, mystery, action and suspense; Twerk exposes the working lives of Las Vegas dancers behind the glamor – the challenges, the rewards, and the deadly risks.
I’m not certain what I expected from Twerk, but I certainly got a surprise!
The book interlaces two narratives, from two different dancers – Amber and Lana – with some creepy interjectionary passages from a mysterious ‘Lacuna’ (it means ‘an unfilled space’).
We start the story with Amber witnessing the death of a punter during a private dance, and falling in lust with the paramedic who attends the body. As she disappears for some hot, impulsive, stranger-sex we skip to Lana; same time and place but a week later. Lana is wracked with worry. Her love life is complicated by her double-persona, someone is messing with her social media accounts, her best friend is MIA, and to top it all she just cannot get last week’s strange death off her mind.
The story continues in these two separate threads: Amber’s story full of bad decisions, risky behaviour and red flags; whilst Lana’s is a long, slow saunter through a lapdancing shift as she casually questions her colleagues about recent events whilst pondering her future and who she can trust.
The pace of Lana’s sections is so slow that it drags at the tempo of the main plot (whilst Amber’s bits speed things up), however personally I found the insight into this particular workplace and lifestyle utterly fascinating. It is evident that the author has thoroughly researched the experiences and atmosphere of a lap-dancing club, and it really shows as these parts of the story ring with truth.
Which makes the latter part of the story all the more shocking. I don’t want to spoil anything, but will just say that the story takes a dramatic turn to the dark side in the final third and the sex and violence (torture) are graphic, visceral and thoroughly disturbing. I went from being entertained by an informative peek into a world I know little of, to being riveted to the pages with shock and with concern for the characters I had come to know through the story. I will confess to a small disappointment in the rather weak motive revealed, but realised that part of what made ‘Lacuna’ so terrifying was that no logical motive was really required for this particular brand of sociopathic insanity.
This is a recommended read for those who like their thrillers to be well-researched, and to burn slowly, then explode into gory Technicolor action!
Another forward step in her high, high heels and she kneels on the chair, hooking her feet on the insides of his thighs, to press them open.
No closure. No contact.
As she gyrates her pelvis.
As she teases.
As she strokes the air down there between her thighs and his.
She goes in close, breathes in his ear.
And takes a peek at her watch, its huge silvery face as large as her wrist, its distinct numbering illuminated in the dim light of the booth.
She leans away from Frank-en-bulge, arches her back, grasps her sweat-dampened breasts, and rubs them against his cheeks.
She thinks she still has half a protein bar out the back.
Maybe some of last night’s stir-fry.
Or did she finish that earlier?
The song pushes on.
– Isobel Blackthorn, Twerk
Twerk is available on Amazon right now!