The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre

Book Reviewgirl

Title: The Girl in 6E

Author: A. R. Torre

Genre: Mystery/Murder/Mature

Rating: ****

Review:   The Girl In 6E by A.R. Torre was a wild book to read. It was a slightly unfamiliar territory for me, as it’s a thriller with very strong erotica themes. I’ll state up front that it’s probably not for everyone, though it’s a really, really cool read if that’s what you’re into.

Alessandra Torre writes under the open pen name of A.R. Torre. Hers is a success story born of the age of digital publishing. Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was self-published on Amazon and became such a hit that it attracted mainstream publishers and inspired a pair of sequels. Her latest, The Girl in 6E, is available in hardcover, Kindle and audiobook editions. It has received justifiably rave reviews. The elevator pitch for the book is just 6 words – What if 50 Shades met Dexter?Here’s the publisher’s descripton: Deanna Madden (aka Jessica Reilly) hasn’t touched another person in three years, but her anonymous clients spend thousands of dollars to watch her take her clothes off for the camera. Fearing she may be dangerous to the outside world, she keeps herself isolated in a penthouse apartment.

Her clients can expose their deepest desires and fearlessly fantastic to her, and she keeps all of their secrets – until she discovers that one client’s fantasies are bleeding over into the real world, and may threaten a young girl. Can Deanna face the world again in order to save a child? That summation does not begin to describe the emotional intensity of the connection between the character and the reader, drawn into chapter after chapter with the desperate desire to find out What Happens Next.

Deanna/Jessica hasn’t just kept from touching another person for three years; she literally hasn’t been past the front door outside her apartment for those three years. All her food, clothing and supplies are delivered to her door. At night, she bribes the building’s pill-addicted super to lock her in from the outside so she couldn’t get out even if there was a fire. And that’s not to protect her from someone coming in; it’s to protect the world from what she’s afraid she would do if she allowed herself to leave the apartment. Now she has to leave. Can she? And if so, what will happen? This is an extraordinary book, dealing with the huge forces of sex and violence in our culture. It’s not for the squeamish, but it will wonderfully reward the adventurous.

The Girl In 6E is a 21-year-old woman named Deanna. Most people who interact with her, however, don’t know her by her real name or identity. Deanna is a cam girl on the internet who goes by the persona of Jessica Reilly, a 19-year-old college girl. She has a hoard of dedicated clients who pay a whopping $6.99 a minute to watch her get naked. She talks with them as Jessica, listens intently to all their life stories, their secret fantasies and deepest secrets, all the while never giving even the slightest bit away about who she really is. She doesn’t do this for the safety precautions you might imagine though… You see, four years ago, when Deanna was just about to graduate from high school, she had one of the most traumatic experiences you could imagine, and it left her with a figurative taste for blood.

Every since, she’s had a fascination with death – particularly, with causing it to other people. She spent a year trying to work her newfound blood lust out, trying to contain it, but it was all too much for her, and so she decided the only way to stop herself from murdering was to lock herself away from all physical human interaction in the confines of her apartment. A lot of effort went into making such a thing work – she began working online as a cam girl in order to make money; she orders all her food from diet programs like Jenny Craig; orders all her personal items online and often in bulk; has an agreement with her addict neighbour to lock her in from the outside at night in exchange for prescription meds she orders online; and convinces the UPS guy who’s intrigued with her to forge her signature on all her packages and leave them outside her door for her to retrieve when nobody else is around.

The Girl In 6E is, like I mentioned earlier, a wild read. It’s full of sex (mostly cyber), so if graphic descriptions of sex and sexuality aren’t something you’re comfortable with, you probably won’t appreciate this book. Torre does an excellent job at really getting into the occupation of camming, the rules that cam girls follow, their tricks, etc. Not only that, but she also did a great job at portraying what it means to be a full-fledged recluse. I’ve never read a book with a character like Deanna/Jessica before, and honestly, despite her murderous desires, she’s actually a very likeable character. You want to know her.

I had the good fortune to read The Girl in 6E not once but twice. I read it in its original indie version way back in 2013 and then again just recently in its current traditionally published version.  In fact The Girl in 6E was the very first Alessandra Torre book that I ever read and it started my love affair with her writing. I have since devoured every single book she has written like a starving woman.

Alessandra’s books have become like children, I will claim them to all be equally amazing, never publicly picking a favorite but deep down inside there is one that will always hold a higher place in my mind and heart. Deanna Madden, aka Jessica Reilly suffers from anthropophobia “fear of human interaction” which can be traced back to traumatic experiences and cruorimania “obsession with murder”. Not the greatest of combinations.

Deanna, or Jessica, as she is known to her fans and followers, is a cam-girl. She earns money by helping to indulge men (and sometimes women) in their sexual fantasies via webcams on the Internet. She makes a ton of money, working several hours a day. She has also not left her apartment in three years. She feels the urge to kill, and has such decided that she is too much of a risk to the outside world to be free amongst them, so she has decided to hole up in her apartment, conducting all business via the web or by phone. The only human contact she has is on the web, or through the door, where she speaks to delivery personnel and her neighbors, one of which locks her door from the outside at night, when she most feels the urge to kill.

After three years of confinement, following a routine and maintaining a safe distance from others several different things happen all of which push Deanna to have to make a decision –   stay safe in her apartment or venture out into the world hoping she can keep her desire to kill at bay long enough to accomplish her task.

Jeremy is her UPS driver that makes deliveries to her door near every day. Sometimes packages are addressed to Deanna, sometimes to Jessica. He has never seen her and is intrigued by her, especially after speaking with the superintendent of her building and learning that she is hot. He attempts to get her to let him in, to little success. Finally, one day he comes upon her unlocked door and after hearing distressing noises coming from the other side, he enters to make sure she is okay. She attempts to stab him, however he is not dissuaded, and quickly develops an infatuation.

While all of this is happening, the wheels are set in motion with one of her clients from her web activities. I’m not going to go into detail, as it is this story arc that provides a large part of the suspense and intrigue of the book. There are many minor players, yet they all are set up individually to later attempt to bring it all together.

Throughout the book we learn why Deanna feels she has become the way she has, as well as the relationships she has built with many of her regular clients. My favorite of the relationships were with Mike, the hacker. It is their relationship that I feel gave the most insight into Deanna, to show that she may really not be the evil person she thinks herself to be.

This book isn’t like my usual reads and yet, as I read the inside cover, I already found myself intrigued. Then I began the book and I found myself just consumed by the life of Deanna. From her daytime profession as a Cam girl to her nightly fantasies of murder and mayhem, Deanna is an interesting character to say the least. Especially when she proves to be more of an antihero, as opposed to a heroine.

There’s a lot of thought and research into the lifestyle and the many kinks people enjoy and for once, it helped to promote the story, while for most authors, it proves to overload the reader with too much information. As a twisted pedophile contact with “Jessica” becomes creepier with each session, Deanna finds herself concerned for the “Annie” the man is truly desiring. In fact, her concern is so great, she makes a choice to leave her apartment and seek out the man and save the young girl before it’s too late. And while that seems noble, there’s nothing noble about her plans to murder the man. Sure, she manages to rescue the girl, but at the same time, she is also feeding the dark demon within.

I liked the intrigue and the idea of a self-imposed exile, but honestly, I really had trouble buying Deanna as a killer. To me, her thoughts about killing just didn’t seem “gritty” enough, or realistic enough. But it wasn’t just that. I’m also not sure how I felt about the narrative of the story itself, through multiple POVs. It felt like a “Six Degrees of Separation” type of story, yet sometimes some of the stories told felt superfluous to the bigger plot. I actually kind of found myself rooting for Deanna by the end, feeling as though that even with her murderous thoughts, she too deserves her HEA.

The first half of the book is not particularly fast-paced, as it’s mostly Deanna’s daily life in her apartment, camming as Jessica, suppressing her twisted thoughts, and flashbacks to her previous life before 6E. In addition to all that, there are alternating chapters thrown in that come from the perspective of Ralph himself, as well as Jeremy the delivery guy. The second part of the book, when Deanna leaves her apartment in search of Ralph and Annie, the pace picks up pretty quickly. Just reading along, knowing that Deanna hasn’t been outside in three years and why, you kind of experience the rush with her as she fights to stay focused on saving Annie rather than veering off to murder the first person she can get her hands on.

What I loved most about this book is its unique plot. All of Alessandra’s books have that little something that is different. Whether it is a twist you didn’t see coming or a storyline that is unlike anything you have read before each book is memorable.  An erotic thriller,  The Girl in 6E was no different. Deanna is not like any female character you know. She is obsessed with murder, she is turned on by and fantasizes about visions of blood and death. Is she truly crazy or maybe just confused as a result of her past? That is really for you to decide. I think she is a little of both but either way she is definitely an interesting character.

I think the thing I enjoyed most about this book was the psychology behind it all. The explanations of the kinks and how “Jessica” has to respond to the people who are entrusting these most private details of their lives with her. Plus, I actually liked the psychology and origin story for Deanna and how she came to feel a lust for killing. Though I dislike books that drag out important details, I admit it works well in this one. I never really got the impression of the twist to who was her first victim, though I feel as if she is overly beating herself up for it, as it was clearly an act of self defense.

My only complaint, and the same one I had with the original version was that I needed more of Jeremy. Even though we do get a smidgen more interaction and dialogue between Deanna and Jeremy in this latest version it still wasn’t enough for me. I also would be on board for a sequel as well, especially if it explored the relationship between Deanna and Jeremy even further. I’m not sure that I would put this book in the category of erotica, as most of the scenes involving sex come about from her time spent online, but it is definitely more of a psychological thriller or suspense.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was not without it’s faults. For one, the character of Jeremy, Deanna’s regular delivery man and their “romance” seems a bit far-fetched. Especially since he seems so dull and clean cut and of course, she’s a murderer. But truly, his point of view added nothing to the story except to act as filler and compared to the other points of view, the book could have done without it.

I was thoroughly entertained by The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre, and I’m extremely excited that a sequel will be released in the spring of 2015. It’s a rather unique book in its themes, but very easy to slip into and get caught up in.  I would highly recommend The Girl In 6E to those who love modern, racy thrillers or female anti-heroes.

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