Throw Away Girls, by Jennifer Vaughn ISBN 9781944245627
Five out of five stars
Jaycee Wilder is an energetic and ambitious reporter for the top television station in the L. A. area. She is beautiful, body shape atractive, smart and willing to do the deep diving necessary to grab and complete a story. Hollywood Boulevard is the home to a series of very seedy clubs where people go to have anonymous sexual hookups. A great deal is tolerated and sought in these clubs, including women wanting to be roughed up and men looking to rough them up.
There is a man that goes to such clubs and when he gets the circumstances just right, brutally and sadistically kills a woman and leaves a message written in their blood. He refers to them as “Throw Away Girls” and so far three women have been killed in different clubs.
James Barton is a new detective in the L. A. Homicide division. He is attempting to make a rehabilitative comeback after a traumatic event on the east coast followed by a descent into the bottle. The murders of women place Jaycee and Barton in proximity with shared goals, for Jaycee quickly begins to take the deaths of the women personally. So much so that she puts herself out as a potential target, going to some of the clubs in a search for the killer.
This is an excellent mystery within the backdrop of one career on the rise and the other back on the rise after a great fall. Like all good mystery stories, there are hints as to the identity of the killer interspersed within.
There are two powerful themes that drive the story, the first is that of the ambitious, vulnerable yet very brave female television reporter. The author is herself a reporter and it is difficult to see how anyone other than a female reporter could have carried this theme out so well. The second theme is that of the extremely intelligent, capable and brutal killer. The man is pure evil dressed in a skin that projects safety. Powerful villains and solid heroines make for stories that you want to read and this is one that you want to read.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.