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Saturday 15 November 2014

‘The Girl in 6E’ by A R Torre

Published by Orion,
24 July 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-4091-5349-8 (Hardback)

An earlier version of this book was that extremely rare phenomenon, a self-published eBook bestseller, probably helped by appearing in the wake of that other notorious phenomenon, 50 Shades... It’s described as an erotic thriller, and scores pretty highly on both those counts – but mainly it’s a story of redemption.

Jessica, the eponymous girl in 6E, calls herself an internet sex operator. She spends her days online in front of a webcam, mostly clad in very little or nothing at all, talking dirty to an assortment of men (and occasionally women) with enough disposable income to pay seven dollars a minute for the dubious privilege.

But there’s more to Jessica than cybersex; she has a past. She hasn’t emerged from apartment 6E for nearly four years – ever since her mother sent her away for the weekend, then killed her entire family then committed suicide. The only legacy she left Jessica was an acute case of dacnomania, or obsession with killing. Jessica is afraid that if she comes face to face with another person, she will kill them.

Then she meets Ralph. Not face to face: online. Ralph’s favourite sexual fantasy bears a chilling resemblance to the abduction of a small girl which is making news headlines, and Jessica’s story takes a whole new turn.

A R Torre, in another life Alessandra Torre, author of erotica without the thriller element, handles that side of things with great skill, but she also shows she’s not a one-trick pony. Jessica’s past is adeptly woven into the early part of the narrative, along with a detailed description of the seedy one-room apartment which is almost the only setting. There are plenty of thrills and shocks when she eventually emerges from the apartment, and a romance thread in the form of Jeremy the UPS man, who delivers the necessities of life in boxes to her door. And above all, Jessica herself is a real person, with strengths and vulnerabilities and quite a bit of complexity.

It’s not great literature, but it’s well structured, well written, well researched, and in a slightly grotesque kind of way completely believable. And unlike the majority of so-called erotic fiction, it did keep me reading. If erotic fiction is your thing, there’s plenty here to please, and even if it isn’t, there’s enough else to hook the average thriller reader.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick

Alessandra R Torre is an exciting new author who astonished the publishing world with the success of her first novel, Blindfolded Innocence. Alessandra lives near the warm waters of the Emerald Coast in Florida, she devotes several hours each day to various writing projects and interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Happily married to her “best friend” and with one son, she loves watching SEC football games, horseback riding, reading and watching movies.

Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.

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