As a New Years treat for R. L. fans, I have reviewed another one of his “adult” novels. All I can say is, you should all get down on your knees and thank me for reading this so that you don’t have to. You don’t even have to read the rest of this blog, I’m warning you right now, you will probably regret it.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
This “thriller” starts off with a man and a woman on a date, having met online. It’s from the guy’s perspective. His thoughts are pretty crude, thinking about what he wants to do with her, until he notices she has giant man hands, and that kills it for him. They go back to her place, where he strangles her, disappointed she wasn’t the perfect girl for him. So, your stereotypical sexist psychopath, awesome. He leaves, thinking he needs to find more women on that dating site …
So, this book is about the dangers of online dating? That is so early 2000.
Lindy, our “heroine,” is on a date of her own, bored to tears by her pretentious date Jack and the musical they were seeing about the U.S. Constitution. (Note: Is there in fact a musical about the U.S. Constitution. Because if so … I don’t want to see it.) She found this guy online, and she can’t stand him, but she’s still dating him and two other men from the same site. Because one of them is going to kill her if she doesn’t.
A little background about Lindy. She’s, like, the most beautiful woman in the world, and life was absolutely perfect until her beautiful cop boyfriend was killed in a car chase. Even though the love of her life died almost A YEAR AGO, Lindy STILL hasn’t gotten over it. Can you imagine?
Lindy lives with two girlfriends, Ann-Marie and Luisa, in an apartment in NYC. Lindy works in children’s publishing and her biggest problem is she is SO beautiful she intimidates guys (cue eye roll). Ann-Marie places a personals ad for Lindy on a dating site, and calls her “Eye Candy.” Lindy acts fake horrified, like: “Oh, that’s so arrogant, I’m not really that beautiful, am I?” but actually is probably flipping around her blonde hair and loving it.
Ann-Marie has a boyfriend, Lou, that she is obsessively in love with, even though he spends most of his time hitting on Lindy. Hmm, I see potential conflict there …
Killer guy is back, reading about his latest victim in the paper. He had cut off her man hands the night before, and is playing them like drumsticks on the table. Is it just me, or does grown up R. L. have a think for disembodied hands?
Lindy and the girls are making fun of the guys on the dating site. She finally finds a normal looking guy, Jack Smith. Also Colin O’Connor, a mortgage banker, and Brad Fisher, a journalist. She emails the three.
Her first date was with Brad. He was nervous and energetic, and took her to a sports bar so loud they couldn’t hear each other. When he said goodbye, he kissed her, a hard dry kiss so hard he cut her. Hawt! Also, he’s a bit of a sexist.
Then comes Jack of the deathly boredom. He lives free off his daddy’s back and is a marketer for Cat Chow. So, a total catch. She is ready to never speak to him again.
Lindy comes home from her date to find Lou and Ann-Marie stoned on the couch. Ann-Marie apparently was pretty neglected as a child, and has some issues because of this, but is doing realy good now. Lindy is happy Ann-Marie found Lou, but at the moment wishes he would stop perving on her tits.
Lindy has one more date, with Colin O’Connor at an Irish pub. She sees the guy alone in a booth and he nods to her. They have a short conversation in the din. He is pretty funny, but she quickly realizes he’s not actually Colin, but some guy named Shelly (ugh, what a horrible name!) She realizes her mistake and sees the real Colin. Shelly gives her his number before she leaves him.
Colin himself is handsome, and they go for Japanese food and have too much sake. Enough sake that Lindy goes back to his place for a magical night. Tsk tsk tsk, on the first date? She’s worried about him thinking of her as just a fling, but for the most part she’s incredibly happy. They make plans for the next afternoon.
They have a great lunch date the next day, and Lindy thinks she’s falling for him. Things get a little creepy as Lindy starts to feel she’s being followed, and when Colin pops into a store, Jack runs up to her. He asks her out again, and she has to decline as Colin comes out and takes her hand. Ooh, so awkward. Lindy and Colin go back to his place again and spend the rest of the day in bed. Quote I find most incongruous with R. L. ever: “Sex in the daytime with someone you barely know seems so much more decadent … and delicious … and … other adjectives.”
She gets home and Shelly calls her, having tracked her number down. Since she’s apparently feeling decadent from her afternoon delight with Colin, she agrees to go out with Shelly next weekend. Only then does she see she has a voice message: a raspy threat that if Lindy ever says no, she’ll be messed up. Only problem is Lindy has no idea which guy sent it.
I know. We’re only at part 2 by now. I’m telling you, if want to stop reading now, I won’t blame you.
Ann-Marie wants Lindy to call the police, so Lindy called her dead boyfriend’s former partner, Tommy. Tommy stops by and gets the name of the online boyfriends but tells her not to worry, it’s probs just some random creep. Lindy swears off internet guys, except for maybe Colin of the decadent sex.
Crazy killer guy is back, out on another date. The woman looks like a horse but has a sexy voice so he’s willing to give her a go. Then he realizes she’s taller than him. Unacceptable. Jesus, this guy is like Seinfeld with the pickiness over the women, only, you know, probably crazier than Seinfeld. He doesn’t kill her, he runs away instead. Alright, then. That would suck if you were on a date, and he actually just physically ran away from you.
Lindy goes out with Shelly for the first time. He takes her into Central Park, and she starts to freak at being alone in there with him, but he was only going to the hot dog stand. For their first date. Kind of kitchy, but I’m not sure the absolute first impression you want to make is HOTDOGS. Just saying. Shelly is a writer, although he gets pissed when she wants to talk about it. Their talk gets serious really fast, and Lindy is feeling that Shelly is a little too intense. She takes him to a dance club. Shelly is a good dancer, but Lindy still feels there’s something disturbing about him.
As Lindy gets home later that night, she meets Lou on his way out. He grabs her and starts molesting her. He’s drunk and tells her he’s only with Ann-Marie to be close to her. She drags him downstairs and throws him in a cab, because he’s incapable of doing that himself.
Lindy is sickened, but can’t tell Ann-Marie because her fragile self-esteem couldn’t take it. She gets to her room, only to find her window open and all her underwear stolen. In place of lingerie is a note – if she doesn’t keep saying yes, he’ll kill her. Charming.
Lindy freaks out, wakes up Ann-Marie. She thinks Lou is the culprit, but when she tells Ann-Marie about her boyfriend’s behaviour, Ann-Marie doesn’t take it well at all. Lindy has to apologize and recant her ass off to even get her to speak with her.
The only thing Lindy is really sure of is it couldn’t be Shelly, because he was with her all night. She speaks to Tommy, and they figured there were no muddy footprints even though it was raining outside. Could this have been an inside job?
Tommy says he’ll run profiles for all the guys, and advises Lindy to say no to all of them. So when Brad calls up for a date, she makes up a lame excuse because she’s not quite up to saying full out NO to someone who may have threatened to kill her. But when Colin asks her out, she just can’t say no. She also has a second date with Shelly, where he’s alternately funny and creepy disturbing. He also lies about his job, as an electronics salesman. So he still has a big question mark over his head.
Lindy gets home one night to find Ann-Marie dead on the carpet. Just kidding, gotcha, she was only attacked and unconscious. A man broke in wearing a stocking over his head, which is the creepiest thing ever, by the way. He beat her up, cut her arm with a box cutter, and told her to tell Lindy not to say no. Ann-Marie does remember he had a scratchy beard … just like Colin!
Next thing you know, Lindy is out with Colin. Wtf, right? Apparently Tommy’s new strategy is to use her as bait, and her crazy will reveal himself. It always works in the movies! Lindy is miserable on her date, because she really liked Colin, but you know. Crazy. It wouldn’t have worked out. Colin really wants them to be together. When she says no, he asks her if she got his note. Dun dun DUN!
Well, of course he wasn’t talking about the crazy note. He had invited her to an office party is all. He goes outside to grab a cab, and by the time she gets out there, he’s gone. A hooded man runs after her with a box cutter, and she flees, immediately falling on her face. Someone grabs her, but it’s Tommy. No hooded man to be seen. Maybe Lindy is the crazy one.
Crazy killer guy is out on another date, but can only think of Lindy, who he was out with last night. He fucks the girl he’s with, but her hair grosses him out, so she has to die. He breaks her neck, then cuts off all her hair and mails it to someone in her address book.
Meanwhile, Lindy’s been out with all her men, and still Tommy hasn’t figured this out. Lindy’s out with Brad on Saturday night, they’re hanging out on some pier, when someone pushes her into the river. Eww! She’s fished out, and Brad said she was pushed by a hooded man. But is he telling the truth. She gets the police to drive her home, then calls Shelly and invites him over for wine. She has decided to confide in Shelly, telling him everything, because she trusts him. Bad move, because on the other end of the line, Shelly hangs up and reveals himself to be crazy killer guy, on his way over to Lindy’s.
Next scene, Lindy is … not dead, but on her way to the Hamptons with Luisa, Ann-Marie and Lou. The group has a picnic on the beach, which turns into a beach party. Lindy goes to the house to grab a sweatshirt and is once again accosted by Lou. They are interrupted by Ann-Marie, but it’s likely she saw what a swell guy her boyfriend is.
Shelly, aka crazy killer guy, takes another girl out, and is grossed out by the way she eats popcorn. So he invites he back to his place and strangles her. Okay, how is Shelly getting all these women to put out on the first date? Anyways, he disposes of the girl in the back alley, then glances up to see Lindy running away after seeing him. She’ll have to die now too.
Next weekend, Lindy is once again in the Hamptons with Luisa and Ann-Marie, minus Lou. Ann-Marie finally figured out what a bad loser he was and let him go. Brad calls Lindy, telling her he’s in the Hamptons too and needs to tell her something important. She reluctantly goes for a walk with him on a deserted beach (Lindy really has issues with self-preservation), and he starts to get really distressed. Brad tells her … he’s going back to his old girlfriend.
Shelly decides to kill Lindy on Monday night. He calls and invites himself over. She’s alone, and he strangles her, watching her pretty face go purple. Once she’s dead, he leaves whistling.
Luisa gets home wonders where everyone is. She finds Lindy sprawled on her bed and starts shaking her. Lindy wakes up, having passed out after work. She’s been feeling sick, but wanted some fresh air, so she walks over to Shelly’s place. She goes to his apartment, and finds the door open so walks right on in. The apartment seems empty, only it is full of body parts – hands, heads, hair, little bits and pieces. There is a poster-sized picture of Lindy painted in blood on the wall.
Shelly walks in, and is pleasantly surprised to see her. There is no comment about the sheer craziness surrounding them. Lindy edges out and calls Tommy, telling him she knows the murderer’s identity.
Shelly confesses to killing six women. Only, they’re all still alive. Shelly is a sick delusional puppy, and has been writing short stories about murdering the women he goes out with. A harmless psychopath. Awesomely, Tommy describes the writing of Shelly as “not even that well written.” Awesome because all of Tommy’s writing is written BY R. L., in the style of R. L. Did R. L. just make a dig at himself? Love him so much. Shelly is locked up in an asylum, case closed.
Lindy is so happy she can now be with Colin. She goes to him office party at the Met (which would be so cool!), where Colin is all stressy about something. He claims he’s not good at parties.
Lindy gets turned around on her way to the ladies’, and finds herself in the Egyptian wing. She hears footsteps behind her, then the raspy voice telling her she’s going to be fucked up. Our idiotic heroine once again falls over at the sign of any trouble and hits her head. When she finally looks up, Colin is hovering over her, all concern. Lindy runs away.
She goes to the Hamptons with Ann-Marie that weekend. They go to a party, and when they get back all of Lindy’s clothes are gone. As she screams, Ann-Marie grabs her arm and pulls her outside towards the ocean. It takes Lindy FOREVER to figure out is was Ann-Marie making all the threats. Us Fear Street experts had this one figured out from the beginning, right? It was always poor unstable Ann-Marie, who could never deal with her devastatingly beautiful friend, that her boyfriend was in love with, who always got the guy. So Lindy had to suffer. Lindy falls under the waves, but is rescued by … Shelly? He had escaped from Bellevue, and was now strangling Ann-Marie. Lindy stops him before he can kill her, and this is one of the most ridiculous endings I have ever read.
Lindy and Colin live happily ever after.
Seriously, What. The. Fuck. That was terrible. The book was nearly impossible to wade through, the plot was infantile, and the ending was ridiculous. There were no actual deaths at all, they were all imaginary. And the issues that are heroine had to deal with, these are not realistic issues. R. L., you are awesome, but if you’re going to write something else, please please stick to young adult. I give this book two fantastically unrealistic endings out of 89, and I’m sorry to everyone who read this far.