Expired Listings

Expired Listings
An erotic Novel of Psychological Suspense”,                                           Punctuated Publishing, an e-book by D. M. Barr.

Dana Black had a brutally psychologically damaging childhood where she lost her father most tragically at 6 years of age. Following this was her mother, Cassandra, taking her older sister Melanie and moving away leaving her with her grandmother in a town literally dying from the existence of a natural disaster and insisting upon a legal name change for the child. Through the years, her mother would return for a perfunctory one day visit but never a word from or about her sister. Finally, she left for college, met Harrison, a man who appeared to be loving and introduced her to a somewhat luxurious life of sorts and adventure. She had skipped the usual sex explorations of her student days and was first introduced to sex by Harrison. Unfortunately he practiced the Kinky BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) type as well as probably suffering from Bi-polar disorder. The relationship dissolved and the reader is introduced to her as a relatively successful Real Estate salesperson working at the same office as her immensely successful sister. It further is revealed that she is in this position after being contacted by Dare, a Dominant BDSM with whom she becomes closely involved. Then suddenly, a number of Realtors are murdered and/or disappear and finally even her best friend Endicott from her college days who is a fellow realtor, is seriously injured opening Dana to become even more of a prime suspect. Dana, along with other severe reactions, is in therapy because she suffers from complete blackouts where she remembers nothing for hours at a time. If not sufficiently complicated already, the ‘plot thickens’ even more. Dare is discovered to be someone other than just her sex partner; her sister Melanie is other than just the successful realtor who hated her; her mother is extremely wealthy but suffering the results of a devastating CVA; her mother’s caring caretaker, Lorelei, becomes further involved; Grayson, Endie’s gay significant other becomes troublesome; Aidan Cummings who Dana meets at a BDSM club, is a former police detective now a PI, who is at the club for purposes other than for the expected reasons – he provides an unexpected source of help for the beleaguered Dana. The highly convoluted tale eventually unravels to terminate in a logical, albeit somewhat incredible fashion.

Discussion: Interestingly, the author opens with a Preference: “This is a satire not to be interpreted as serious regarding Realtors who have definite legal standards, although their public rating is 17%, a little above advertising executives, used car salesmen and politicians, but below lawyers.” Also included are a warning of sexual explicity and a disclaimer with respect to BDSM activity. From here the story unfolds as a provocative, highly convoluted mystery involving mostly persons on various psychologically compromised levels. The level of sexuality provided is far less explicit than that presented in most books featuring erotica and the ‘dirty tricks’ used by the realtors certainly are no different from those endlessly rumored to have been employed by members of this profession.

Conclusion: A mystery that is highly convoluted, somewhat stretches credibility, provides some mild (by many standards) deviant erotic activity but generally a story that should appeal to those who enjoy a tantalizing read.

4* Generally appealing for those enjoying a tantalizing read.

 

Battling Isis – The Road to Mosul

Battling Isis – The Road to Mosul, is a thriller with considerable erotica in an e-book by Ernie Marier.

Plot: Michael Roundtree is a Half-breed American Indian whose great grandfather had established the Rogue River Trading Post. The business gradually developed into a highly successful enterprise that owned a large section of the state and had a net worth in the millions. Under Michael’s direction, success continued and his personal direction was additionally directed to survival tactics for which he established a survival school of sorts. He could survive under almost any conditions, was a master marksman, and could cover miles of ground at a steady rate of six minutes/mile. His older brother, Vince was a missionary working in a Syrian refugee camp. He was captured by Isis and beheaded. Michael witnessed the act on television. He decides to take revenge and the story evolves following his resulting journeys and activities. The action includes help from Kurdish, Egyptian and Israeli characters as well as some help from the CIA. The other characters, except for his beautiful paramour Avalina, an Israeli Army Corporal, and Willie, a Kurdish governmental agent, only incidentally participate in the story and are only slightly characterized.

Discussion: The author has an intriguing plot and has the ability to generate periods of tension throughout. Regrettably, the mood is fractured repeatedly by a number of faults. Shifts constantly occur from the first to the third person; present to past tense occurs; there is repetition of entire sections (e.g. location 638 repeats 627, again in location 938, others); words are omitted and/or repeated; there is constant repetition, with little to no change in verbalization of Michael’s activity as he proceeds to attack the enemy; similarly, the author provides pages of explicit descriptions of sexual activity only to repeat these in ensuing sections of the book. It is granted that graphically depicted sexual acts undoubtedly have a strong appeal for many readers and thus are not criticized per se. It would seem, however, that a knowledgeable editor could devise some greater variation in description of the activity, as well as for scenes of his enemy attacks. A good proof reading at the very least is necessary to ‘clean up’ some of the detritus that interferes with what could be an interesting story.

3* at best. Basically intriguing thriller/erotica plot; monumental need for editing/proof reading