It was the cover of AR Torre’s, The Girl in 6E, that caught my eye. The bright red spine stood out in my pile of “read-when-you-have-time” books.
Imagine my surprise when after just the first chapter I couldn’t put this book down.
There is quite a bit of – sometimes disturbing – sexual content in this story. But with a story and writing as brilliant as this, I quickly got over my discomfort and enjoyed this novel from start to finish.
Deanna Madden hasn’t touched another person in three years. She hasn’t stepped out of her flat in three years.
But she has amassed a huge sum in her bank account by performing as Jessica Reilly to webcams on sex sites, in a specially set-up pink bedroom in one section of her flat. Her clients are vast and varied – and she has them returning often. Thus enabling her to maintain her self-imposed exile in relative comfort.
Deanna knows she has to maintain a strictly controlled and ordered life within the confines of her flat, if she is to prevent herself from murdering again. The desire to murder consumes her, and she is determined never to succumb to it.
Her psychiatrist offers to prescribe medication to help bring her urges under control. But Deanna chooses physical incarceration over the psychological alternative.
With the help of the internet, a few reliable internet friends and a neighbour who depends on her goodwill, Deanna is able to create a well-ordered and contented life in her flat and never has to leave its confines.
As you get deeper into the novel, her reasons for her “character flaw” become apparent, and I could not help but empathise with and admire her. It is her desire to keep people safe from herself that drives her to such extremes, and this makes her a strong, likeable woman who resorts to extreme measures.
Deanna’s carefully constructed world is shaken when she comes upon news of the disappearance of a young girl called Annie. The story is disturbingly similar to a fantasy that one of her most disturbing online clients has revealed to her.
With the help of her online friend and cyberhacker, Deanna pulls together a plethora of information and is almost 100 percent sure her client has abducted the missing child.
But no one is listening to her.
She realises she has to leave the safety of 6E if she wants to save Annie.
The Girl in 6E is an example of writing that utilises sex and sexuality in an empowering and constructive way to tell a very good story. Deanna is no breathy, vacuous Anastasia of Fifty Shades of Grey fame. She is strong, resilient, flawed and, on the whole, real.
The Girl in 6E is well worth the read.
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