You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you sure can draw me into reading the book with a good cover and the cover for “The Girl in 6E” by A.R. Torres was one of those covers. It was both sexy and mysterious and just made me want to see what the book was all about.
Deanna Madden has withdrawn from the world into the privacy of her apartment: 6E. She leads an isolated life out of fear but not the fear that one would imagine. She is not afraid of what others may do to her but rather what she may do to them. Her mother murdered everyone in her family but her and Deanna feels the same violent urges that she imagines her mother must have felt. She has withdrawn from the world to prevent herself from acting on those urges and created her own world as Jessica Reid. Jessica is the third-highest rated girl on cams.com and has given Deanna the means to live independently through her own website and the $6.99 an hour fee paid for her private chats. This has been her sole contact with the outside world for years now but all of that is about to change.
Deanna’s sheltered life comes crashing to an end when two things come to a head at once and force her out of her protective shell. Jeremy, the UPS delivery guy, has become obsessed with meeting her and is ready to take matters into his own hands after years of signing her name and leaving packages outside of her closed door. Then there is the creepy client that is obsessed with a young girl named Annie. Deanna just knows that something bad is going to happen to the real Annie and only she can stop it. Will anyone be safe when this killer is once again released upon the world?
“The Girl in 6E” started with great promise and I found myself drawn into this seedy world before I knew it. I found Deanna to be a compelling character that was evil and yet supremely human at the same time. I began to feel for her and felt almost compelled to turn the page to see what was coming next. There is a fair amount of talk about sex in this book (although much of it is discussed vicariously as it is never consummated and only viewed through a webcam) but I did not find this to be a distraction or too over the top to the point of becoming gratuitous. It simply described Deanna’s world and the lengths to which she had to go to protect the world from the violence that she felt boiling beneath the surface. I thought that the first half of the book was very well written and it build the suspense for the second half well as it promised a dramatic conclusion that made me rush through the book to see what was going to happen next.
Then the second half of the book began to unfold and left me feeling let down and empty about the story rather than living up to the promise of the story’s open. With such a strong beginning to the story, I was expecting much more than what happens and found the climax of the story to be more anticlimactic than anything. The story definitely becomes weaker when the focus of the story shifts from Deanna to the other characters as they are nothing special but more like placeholders to allow the action to revolve around Deanna. The “threat” of the story and the action that is needed to address this threat are mundane and everything just seems to be wrapped up rather too neatly for my liking. It was almost like winning a contest and finding that the prize is that you get to enter another contest. That is all well and good but there is very little payoff. “The Girl in 6E” opens with a roar and finishes with a whimper. While I would definitely read something else from this author or the further exploits of Deanna, I would hope that I would find the experience more fulfilling than this novel.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Redhook Books for this review copy. “The Girl in 6E” is scheduled to be released on July 8.