Saturday, 9 October 2010

Book review : Tease - Immodesty Blaize

Normally, I'd say that a book like this is perfect poolside reading but we're at the wrong end of the year so I'll have to say instead that it's the perfect antidote to the grey skies and drizzle that autumn has brought with it. Having just read a couple of very bleak and depressing romans noir, I was in need of something a bit more frivolous and uplifting. Tease just leapt out of my "to be reviewed" pile at me !

Enter Tiger Starr, showgirl extraordinaire, with her dazzling array of feathered head-dresses, sequined costumes and rolls of tit tape ! The author Immodesty Blaize, herself Queen of the Burlesque, gives us a fascinating insider's glimpse into the world of the cabaret dancer, showing us the highly glamorous sparkly world that is presented to the public but also the blood, sweat and tears that remain secreted behind the scenes. Tiger is a wonderfully complex central character, oozing sensuality, star quality and absolute confidence on stage but battling her inner demons out of the public eye.

The book almost reminded me of an Agatha Christie whodunnit novel, minus the murder victim ! When Tiger starts getting death threats, any one of the characters could be the perpetrator. A jealous rival ? A crazed fan ? A psychotic stalker ? A spurned lover ? Someone from her past ? Immodesty Blaize has more red herrings up her sequin-encrusted sleeves than a Communist fishmonger so she'll keep you guessing to the very end ! One thing is for sure - the old adage "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" has never been truer.

The book has a lot to offer - glamorous locations, lashings of sex appeal, strong female characters, dastardly villains, family feuds, catfights, deep dark secrets, lust and betrayal. Not to mention the all-important love story that all good chick lit demands. Although I found it a bit slow to begin with, you can't help but get caught up in the high octane lifestyle that Tiger leads and the pace picks up in the second half of the book. It may be because I'm an avid crime fiction reader but I did actually guess most of the big plot twists before they were revealed but I still enjoyed reading the novel which certainly livened up my dreary bus journeys to work in the gloomy drizzle !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £6.99

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