Real Easy: A Novel

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When Ruby and Lady Jade go missing from the Lovely Lady, all the other strippers start to wonder if they are next on the list of a disgruntled patron. The disappearances of the two women, whose real names are Samantha and Kimberly, is the start of Mari Rutkoski’s suspenseful first novel Real Easy.

One of the most interesting parts about the book is its focus on the female gaze and experiences. There’s little titillation at what these women do for a living, and little attention paid to how the men they interact with feel about these women. Rutkoski offers glimpses into the seedy lives and fetishes of a few male characters, but this is a book about women—their fears, their hopes, their secrets—and it is refreshing to read something that could so easily turn campy or sensational but never does.

Georgia, another stripper at the Lovely Lady, has the most compelling story. She keeps an eye on everything while lying about her own past; she is meticulous in her habits out of safety. As her character grows stronger, the choices she makes put her more at risk, but each move is believable given the excellent development over time Rutkoski creates through chapters told episodically, focusing on different characters each time.

All manner of women—mothers, cops, sisters, lovers—populate Real Easy, and the suspense is built well though, if you’re really paying attention, the responsible party is pretty clear from the start.

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Author Marie Rutkoski
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Henry Holt and Co.
Publish Date 18-Jan-2022
ISBN 9781250788245 Buy this Book
Issue May 2022
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller