Friday, February 15, 2013

The Tease:


Anna Zendel is your average 32-year-old therapist, stressing about clinical exams and struggling to recover from an abusive relationship. But at night she transforms herself into the saucy burlesque dancer Velvet Crush, enchanting Chicago audiences with the art of the tease. As Anna struggles to keep the therapy and burlesque worlds separate and get over her crush on the troupe's emcee, a new danger threatens women across the city. The papers have dubbed him the Darling Killer, because after strangling his victims, he scrawls the word "darling" on their skin. When one of Anna's fellow dancers is murdered in the dressing room, she realizes that Darling Killer could be closer than she thought. Could Max, Anna's new therapy client who confessed to fantasizing about dead girls and obsessing over the Darling Killer, have anything to do with the murders? As more women are murdered, and Anna begins receiving mysterious gifts, this burlesque dancer pits feathers and sequins against foul play in the deadliest dance of all.


The Tease is the first in a series that follows the Darling Killer.  It is a great first glimpse of Darling, as he(?) continues on his  serial murdering rampage.  The twist at the end caught me, even though I knew it had to be one of three characters (which is obvious throughout the book), I still vacillated between which character with every turn of the page.  That is a mark of a great mystery, in my opinion. The major twist, which allows Darling to continue into the next series, was a great ending to this book, and truly left me wanting more.  I cannot wait to read the next book, and see where Max and Kevin end up, and not really sure who I am rooting for more as Anna's leading man.

Which is a great segue into Anna.  She is an intricately woven character, who I really wondered if I could relate to at the beginning of the book.  That fear was quickly quashed.  I was so intrigued with her; her thought processes, the balance of therapist (and all the ethical issues involved) and burlesque dancer.  Nikki Pill's knowledge of burlesque and belly-dancing enhanced the story, and I was fascinated by the nearly "lost art."  I felt like Lynne by the end of the book, wondering if Anna would give me lessons!  I was grateful that Pill included the contention between Brack and Anna, forcing me to recognize my own prejudices in dealing with other women, as well as the judgment women carry with them while proclaiming to be  feminists.

A multi-layered book, that is a must read!

I give it       

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