Wow, this book was definitely an experience. And I mean a good one! It won’t be for everyone, but if you like your fiction dark with a capital darrrr, then you can’t go wrong with this story of sexual brutality.
Ada and Daniel are just your average married couple, together for the love and happiness a life-long devotion brings. Kind of. They move to (?) Cambodia where they really feel like outsiders in this strange city with an obviously very different culture.
But Ada and Daniel, despite what I just said, ain’t that average after all. You see, their idea of a good time is to pick up people in a bar, invite them back to their place, drug them, and have their extremely wicked way with them.
But when they come across one such ‘subject’, Neven, he gets wise to their plans before they have chance to infect him with their knock-em-out-for-sordid-sex drug. And would you believe it, he’s very keen to join their ‘seduction club’.
As the novel progresses these three partake in practices that will have you wincing like a prude. None of these characters are in the least bit likeable, but with their tragic backstories interspersed with the narrative, you kind of empathise with them. A little bit. Even though you shouldn’t. This, of course, is down to the quality of the writing.
At around the halfway stage I wondered where the story was going. But as I entered the final third, I was hooked.
I’m not going to give details but the ending was superb, and certainly not what I was expecting. Things suddenly go from ‘realistic’ to ‘woah, what the…?’
The book is clever in the way that the chapters weave between third person story-telling to first person, where we learn the backgrounds of these sexual deviants. At times in these backstories, you’re not entirely sure who is speaking, which makes the book even more gripping.
The weirdness stakes are stacked high as the novel reaches its dramatic conclusion, you begin to wonder who are the real monsters? Are they monsters after all? Was it nature or nurture? But as the tagline says, even monsters can love.
If you want to be grossed out, creeped out, and never speak to a married couple in a bar in the same way ever again, then check this out!
Categories: book review