Sober for nearly 12 years, Catt and her best friend, Bree, have created perfect lives for themselves in Los Angeles. But sobriety, like perfection, is a fragile thing.
They style hair at the ominously
named Head Hunter, work out at the Body Farm and maintain their blog, Love Monster, which comments on all the
things that make a sober life tolerable. And together, they manage to care for
Bree’s son, since her “Baby Daddy” usually has better things to do. When
murdered and mutilated women’s bodies start turning up, the entire community
goes on high alert. All the victims are model beautiful—and bear a disturbing resemblance
to Bree—and each has lost her legs or arms. When Catt’s husband, Dash,
leaves her to start a family with another woman, her personal life begins
spiraling down. Although she ought to be locking her doors and avoiding
strangers, she joins an online dating service and falls into bed with nearly
every man she meets. Who can she really trust? Big Bob, the creepy owner of the
Body Farm? Scott, her workout buddy, who seems to be paler every time she seems
him? Dash’s brother, Cyan, the sexy but remote photographer? Her reckless
behavior threatens not only her sobriety, but also the careful life she’s
constructed. Block (Love in the Time of Global Warming, 2013, etc.)
again examines the interstices of addiction and sexuality and the limits of what
a woman will do for those she loves. Aiming for a haunting eroticism, she
instead achieves a numbing sense of dread, as the reader wonders not what the
serial killer will do next but how Catt will degrade herself further. Even the
final showdown between Catt and the killer is marred by exposition, which
defuses much of the tension.
Instead of erotic noir, a grim study of failed sobriety.