My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 343
Publisher - Zaffre
Source - Bookshop
Blurb from Goodreads
A shockingly original thriller - the launch title of Zaffre, the new fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing Fiction
Judith Rashleigh works as an assistant in a prestigious London auction house, but her dreams of breaking into the art world have been gradually dulled by the blunt forces of snobbery and corruption. To make ends meet she moonlights as a hostess in one of the West End's less salubrious bars - although her work there pales against her activities on nights off.
When Judith stumbles across a conspiracy at her auction house, she is fired before she can expose the fraud. In desperation, she accepts an offer from one of the bar's clients to accompany him to the French Riviera. But when an ill-advised attempt to slip him sedatives has momentous consequences, Judith finds herself fleeing for her life.
Now alone and in danger, all Judith has to rely on is her consummate ability to fake it amongst the rich and famous - and the inside track on the hugely lucrative art fraud that triggered her dismissal.
Set in the exotic palaces and yachts of Europe's seriously wealthy. With a heroine as wickedly perceptive as Amy Dunne and as dangerous as Lisbeth Salander, this marks the beginning of a sequence of novels that will have readers around the world on the edge of their seats and holding their breath.
So, firstly the blurb has it as "an original thriller" guys this is an EROTICA thriller, whilst there is a thriller/murder story there is a lot of graphic sexual content. I think had I realised what the book was before I started reading it I would have been better prepared and possibly liked it better. My problem is, if I go into a book expecting horror and get chick lit I won't be happy. Not the authors fault but you expect one thing and get another it does impact on how you enjoy and take the story.
Judith works in an auction house and I learned a wee bit about art but it isn't the heart or focus of the story but worth mentioning. She is skint, underappreciated and ends up working extra hours as a "hostess" kicking off a chain of events leading to murder, lies, conspiracy and being on the run. The action side is actually quite good and a strong female character who is ruthless is certainly a breath of fresh air. However, it is a bit fantastical especially some of the events that transpire but makes for good reading. Judith uses sex to unwind and get what she wants, seeing her end up in group parties and I felt some of the sex scenes where gratuitous and maybe even just for shock value. I have read the 50 shades books so no stranger to erotic and or graphic scenes but really some of it I just didn't feel was in keeping with the rest of the content.
I know some folk have really loved this book so would absolutely say to give it a go if you aren't easily offended and don't mind graphic sex scenes. There is a lot of action, bit of crime, thriller, retribution and it keeps your interest. There is another book to this series which I will read and hopefully get on better knowing what is potentially in store. The blurb on that also reads "thriller sensation" but as Judith is in it and we know how she likes to de-stress and blow off steam I think we can assume "erotica" will feature. 2.5 out of 5 for me this time, if you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts.