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Book Review: Bad Girl by Jason Walker

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Erotica seems to be a growth industry these days, not just in the volume of books available but also in the diversity of sub-genres from which readers can choose. The most recent such niche I have become aware of, with the arrival of Jason Walker’s Bad Girl in my virtual mailbox, is a blend of erotica and noir. While I can see that erotica noir has potential, I doubt that this book represents the best the genre has to offer.

To be fair, overall the prose is pretty decent and the erotica is well done, but some major plot elements do not succeed in allowing the reader to suspend disbelief. The story follows the events over the course of a relatively short period in the life of a bored and unfulfilled socialite during which three of her lovers die in her company accidentally. Apparently, she had been engaging in various and sundry tawdry dalliances for several years then suddenly three sex partners in a row die during a tryst with the noir goddess. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

Although she may have been reckless, she did not intentionally set out to kill her unfortunate bed-mates. However, cool as can be, instead of calling the cops she disposes of their bodies and/or covers up her involvement. All the while she finds it disturbingly thrilling to have inadvertently caused the death of three people with impunity.

Had it not been for her husband — himself a philanderer extraordinaire — tipping off the authorities Rena may very well have escaped detection. In a strange whirlwind of smoke and mirrors hubby dies of a heart attack, and his formidable legal team extricates Rena from the mess she’s in. She ends up an extremely wealthy woman and promptly seeks redemption for being a bad girl by hooking up with her dead husband’s fixer, who plans to introduce her to BDSM in the role of a submissive.

A curious thing about this book is that the author elected to eschew the use of quotation marks to denote dialogue. While in general I applaud writers who dare to experiment and defy rigid writing conventions, in this case the result was to add to the confusion caused by the convoluted and sketchy plot developments. Perhaps this wasn’t the best vehicle with which to debut a new style of writing.

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About Jim Lyon

Jim Lyon began writing erotica in the mid 1990s and served as story editor for the now-defunct Ownme.com before his first femdom-themed erotic novellas, Uncharted Territory and The Accidental Domme, were published as e-books by Sizzler Editions. Jim is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He left high school in his senior year to live the bohemian life in New York City's Greenwich Village and Lower East Side. Not being a big fan of cold weather and crowded tenements, Jim returned to the West Coast within six months and lived in Berkeley during the tumultuous mid to late 1960s and early 1970s. While there, his claims to fame include being folksinger Malvina Reynolds' neighbor/tenant and part owner of the Northside Theater, a repertory cinema of considerable renown. After leaving Berkeley, Jim put himself through college and earned a B.A. in Journalism from USC. His eclectic career since then has encompassed editing, writing, business management, social work, teaching, and web publishing, with stops in northern and southern California, Hawaii, Florida and Oregon.