A grieving widower finds the virtual world as deadly as the real one.
Michael Kapinsky is having a hard time coming to terms with his wife’s death. His therapist suggests he try group therapy. The sessions take place on Second Life (SL), a virtual world filled with avatars, created personas that can go anywhere, do anything and look any which way. Kapinsky calls his avatar Chas Chesnokov and makes him a Brad Pitt look-alike. He soon discovers Janey, like him a crime-scene employee in real life (RL), who in SL has become a man named Twist, head of a virtual detective agency. Flying around in SL, Kapinsky befriends sex worker Doobie, who introduces him to avatar pole dancing, whorehouses, couple-swapping venues, sex-toy shops, etc. Alas, erotica is not the only thing on offer in SL. Three real-life murders replicate three avatar killings, and $3 million in mob money finds its way from the virtual world into Kapinsky’s real bank account, which he taps to settle the mortgage on his fancy house. Can the mob be far behind? Will they off him before the deadly avatar gets a crack at him? Will he stop mooning over his dead wife in the virtual arms of Doobie? Many sexual innuendoes later, all will become clear in both RL and SL.
A smarmy excuse for May (The Killing Room, 2008, etc.) to dabble in X-rated fantasy.