*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: The Devil made him do it.
Every year, hundreds of children disappear in Mallhaven. Hunter Hill is determined to find out why.
Disturbingly, no one seems to care about the missing children – not even the parents, who often leave town shortly after.
But if Hunter’s to take a seat on the Council of Nine, then he wants to do so in a town free of corruption.
Digging deep into Mallhaven’s festering underbelly will be the only way to find the root of this evil.
And there’s no greater cesspit than the Messianic Church of Solomon.
Hunter knows the Father is involved and he will prove it; all he needs is a little help from his friends.
They won’t help willingly, but he’s ready to persuade them.
Even if it means risking a decade-old friendship… and the love of his life.
This book has an author’s note, as follows: This work of fiction is intended for mature audiences only. All sexually active characters portrayed in this e-book are eighteen years of age or older. Please do not buy/read this e-book if strong sexual situations, multiple partners, violence, drugs, domestic discipline, and explicit language offend you.
To the above I would also add trigger warnings for non-consensual sexual and drug-related activity, domestic violence, child abuse, torture and suicidal thoughts/actions.
So you have been warned – this is strong stuff!
Clover and Hunter return in the third book of the Blood for Blood series, and it begins pretty much where The Hunter’s Game ended, so I would definitely recommend reading that book first.
The Whipping Girls dives straight into the violence and sex, with first a prologue featuring a mystery girl fleeing through the woods, then a glimpse into Clover and Hunter’s tempestuous domestic ‘bliss’. As an ex-heroin addict and the doctor who treated her addiction, their relationship has always been on dangerous ground, especially as Dr Hill’s treatment methods are… somewhat out of the ordinary!
Clearly the two main characters in this erotic romance thriller crave and enjoy each other, even love each other, but this is by no means a healthy relationship for either of them and that is made very clear from the start. But then, it is also made clear that they are both such broken and damaged individuals that they wouldn’t even recognise ‘healthy’ if they stumbled across it in their drug-hazed wanderings.
The main plot features Hunter’s twisted plan to remove the source of corruption from ‘his’ town, which – being one of Hunter’s plans – naturally involves swathes of drugs, coercion, manipulation, and completely betraying everyone he knows, destroying those he loves most in the process. For a supposedly clever man, it is unbearable how very stupid he can be.
Clover continues to do what she does best: rage, defy authority and cling to life on the very edge. Her relationship with Hunter has brought her a small measure of peace, but this is short-lived as his plans begin to ferment and she is dragged unwillingly right into the heart of the storm. This character breaks my heart because she is so tough and strong and wild and defiant, and yet so fragile that she could fly into pieces at any moment. Clover is the heart of this series, and without her story running through the centre of it, it would mainly be a tale of psychopaths manipulating each other and torturing innocents for pleasure.
This book, like those before it, is hot and dark, bloody and primal. The themes and imagery are strong and visceral, and the sex is raw and aggressive. Logan Fox takes the reader down into the world of broken people as they buck against each other, the system and the evils that dragged them low. Whether they make it back out of the woods and into the sunlight remains to be seen, as there are two more books in the series!
I’m wearing one of Hunter’s shirts in open defiance to the previously purchased clothes hanging in my side of the closet. If he notices – which I know he does – he decides not to comment.
I guess he’s decided to pick his battles.
That’s another thing I’ve insisted on of late; we share everything. Our coffee comes from the same pot, we eat from the same skillet or tray or whatever the fuck he uses to make food. And, sometimes, just to change things up, I’ll switch plates.
This fucker ain’t drugging me again, that’s for sure.
– Logan Fox, The Whipping Girls