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Beneath the Blonde (Five Star Title) Paperback – 23 Mar 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New Ed edition (23 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852427116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852427115
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stella Duffy was born in London and grew up in New Zealand. She has written thirteen novels, over fifty short stories, and ten plays. In addition to her writing work, she is also a theatre director and performer. She lives in London.

Product Description

Review

Very near the top of the new generation of crime writers (Marcel Berlins The Times)

Stella Duffy's writing gets better with each book. Her grasp of complex narrative techniques leaves the reader wondering what's coming next (Val McDermid Manchester Evening News)

Duffy gives good story (Maxim Jakubowski Time Out)

About the Author

Born in London and raised in New Zealand, Stella Duffy is the author of ten novels, over thirty stories, and eight plays.  Her novel State of Happiness was longlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize, and she is currently writing the screenplay adaptation for the feature film production. With Lauren Henderson she co-edited the anthology Tart Noir, from which her story Martha Grace won the 2002 CWA Short Story Award.  She has appeared on BBC Radio 4, in sitcoms, plays and quizzes, and is a performer with comedy company Spontaneous Combustion and theatre company Improbable.  She is an occasional guest with the Comedy Store Players.

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I would sit in your mother's kitchen and watch the sun come up. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 July 2001
Format: Paperback
I can't really recall why I picked this up, other than Duffy's name being vaguely familiar from the first in the "Fresh Blood" anthology series and a general interest in cutting-edge crime fiction from the UK. In any event, I soon found myself in a potboiler about a pop star siren who's been getting creepy messages and flowers from a person or persons unknown. Brought in to solve this problem is lesbian PI Saz, who's apparently still recovering from some kind of burn accident that has left her with terrible scarring from her midriff to her knees (I kept waiting for this to be explained, but it's apparently either the remnant of an adventure related in a previous book). Eager to get a little independence from her supportive girlfriend, she becomes a PA to the singer as a cover for her "investigation" and jet-sets around the world with the band as the plot thickens. I put investigation in quotes because she is there more as a entry point for the reader to watch the drama unfold than actually accomplish anything useful. The stalker tale depends greatly on a massive bit of misdirection which never really works because Duffy's narrative technique gives the game away rather obviously. She intersperses chapters written from within the stalker's head that both give backstory, and remove a lot of mystery. In fact, the real mystery is whether or not Saz will cheat on her girlfriend with the bombshell singer. By the end it's hard to care too much what happens as the murders that do occur have unrealistic consequences, and the band members engage in all the usual drugs -n- debauchery one expects in fiction. And between Saz's stupidity and own weaknesses, it's hard to care much about her either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RD VINE VOICE on 2 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
With 'Beneath the Blonde' we catch up with Saz several months after the tragic ending in 'Wavewalker'. Saz is on the mend and looking to start working again when she is asked to help out lead singer of the band 'Beneath the Blonde' with a case of nutty stalker. Siobhan is the ever gorgoeous though unpredictable and very famous (at least in England) singer who has been getting some worrying deliveries. Soon Saz is going on tour with them and trying to find out what is going on amidst murder and mayhem within the band. Plus there are her ever growing feelings of lust and desire for Siobhan to deal with, especially as she still has Molly waiting patiently for her back in London.

Ms Duffy continues her style of writing whereby she includes more poetic chapters focussing on the why and who among those of normal narration. The previous two books were incredibly predictable and one almost got the feeling it wasnt supposed to be a mystery to begin with. Though I did sort of figure out what was going on about half-way through I felt this was a much better attempt at intrigue. Especially as I was only taking half-hearted guesses at the time.
The character development is also improved upon and I felt myself getting more involved in what Saz was getting up to even to the point of talking at the book when she was doing something particularly silly!

All that praise aside I did start to waver in interest towards the end and wanted her to get on with it already. The poetic, abstract bits started to get annoying which meant there was a little skim reading but I like the fact that once again we didnt get a picture perfect, everybody is happy ending. A little more realistic even though heart-breaking and aggravating at the same time...

Look forward to the next installment.. wish they would never end!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
Having read all of Duffy's books now, i sat down looking forward to the suspense i'd been used to in the Saz Martin-based books of Fresh Flesh, Calendar Girl and Wavewalker and, to begin with, i wasn't disapointed but about half way through, it dawned on me what the twist was and the second half of the read become tiresome as i just read what i had anticipated would happen. The detail of the characters was still as good as ever but the twists were sloppy compared to her other books, which have kept me guessing til the final pages. If you've got a spare day by the beach, get it, if you want something to entertain you beyond this, buy fresh flesh instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bella@genie.co.uk on 13 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
By using small town New Zealand as the background to the plot, Stella evoked all those took me back to the time of my childhood. Excellent imagery. A very contemporary novel that kept me interested from start to finish with a lovely twist that managed to shock and suprise. Enjoy!
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