Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. on Jan. 18, 2022
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Henry Holt and Co.
Book Rating: 8.5/10
It’s 1999 and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to mixing work and friendship―after all, between her jealous boyfriend and his young daughter, she has enough on her plate. But the newest dancer is so clueless that Samantha feels compelled to help her learn the hustle and drama of the club: how to sweet-talk the boss, fit in with the other women, and make good money. One night, when the new girl needs a ride home, Samantha agrees to drive: a simple decision that turns deadly.
Georgia, another dancer drawn into the ensuing murder and missing person investigation, gathers information for Holly, a grieving detective determined to solve the case. Georgia just wants to help, but her involvement makes her a target. As Holly and Georgia round up their suspects, the story’s point of view shifts between dancers, detectives, children, club patrons―and the killer.
Drawing on her experience as a former dancer, Marie Rutkoski immerses us in the captivating world of the club, which comes alive with complicated people trying their best to protect themselves and those they love. Character-driven and masterfully plotted, Real Easy gets to the heart of the timeless question: How do women live their lives knowing that men can hurt them?
Intricate, addictive, and twisty!
Real Easy is a complex, gritty, character-driven thriller that takes you back to 1999 and into the lives of a myriad of people, including Detectives Amador and Meylin, as they work together to solve a case involving a murdered stripper, her missing coworker Samantha, and a killer who seems to have an unusual fascination with the image of a crown and enjoys keeping small pieces of jewellery as mementoes.
The prose is vigorous and tight. The characters are multilayered, flawed, and troubled. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, quickly unravels into a sinister tale of unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, complex relationships, suspicious motivations, manipulation, obsession, tragedy, loss, and murder.
Overall, Real Easy is a dark, unnerving, entertaining adult debut by Rutkoski that kept me guessing from the very first page and left me chilled, satisfied, impressed, and curious to see what her devious mind might come up with next.
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Thank you to Henry Holt and Company for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.