One of the many crime novels released this week, and one that I had the pleasure of reading early, Ava Marsh‘s Untouchable is a clever, sexy, murder mystery with one of the most intriguing female protagonists I’ve read in a very long time.
Here’s the blurb:
‘If you start feeling anything for a client – and it does happen – count the money. That always brings you back down to earth.’
Stella is an escort, immersed in a world of desire, betrayal and secrets. It’s exactly where she wants to be. Stella used to be someone else: respectable, loved, safe. But one mistake changed all that.
When a fellow call girl is murdered, Stella has a choice: forget what she’s seen, or risk everything to get justice for her friend. In her line of work, she’s never far from the edge, but pursuing the truth could take her past the point of no return.
Nothing is off limits. Not for her – and not for them.
But no one is truly untouchable.
Wow – this book was an absolute delight! Quite different to my usual reads, and as an author I found myself in awe of the writing. The thing I enjoyed most is the strong ‘voice’ of the protagonist Stella. The sex parties that Stella and her ‘colleagues’ are embroiled in are disturbing and fascinating in equal measure, and the types of characters who ’employ’ these high-class escorts are nicely drawn, without being stereotyped. Despite the subject matter, the book doesn’t feel seedy – it feels all too real (and made me wonder how the author did her research!)
The language is crisp, direct and often humorous in tone, the storyline is intriguing and the pacing excellent. You want to know who Stella was and what happened to her ‘before’ – and little snippets of her past-life and her old friends are neatly woven throughout, as Stella finds herself mixed up in a murder case and with several unsavoury characters in her wake. She’s a very likeable heroine, and the author has portrayed her well with her astute characterisation. There are some inevitable parallels to be drawn with Belle du Jour, but this is no bad thing…
I believe this is a standalone, so it will be interesting to see what the Ms Marsh comes up with next… I suspect there will be more sex 😉
Highly Recommended: eBook is out now, paperback in August.