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Customer Review

on 25 July 2001
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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