Title: Sugar & Spice
Author: Saffina Desforges
Genre: Crime Fiction
Length: 353 pages
Read: Dec 26 – 28, 2011
Summary: Disturbing, but gripping
I was slogging through a best selling YA historical fantasy when I finally couldn’t take it anymore. That particular piece of anonymous juvie trash was making me want to gag myself with a spoon so I needed to wash the bad taste out of my mouth with an entirely different kind of filth.
Enter the disturbing indie crime thriller about no less a subject then a serial killer with a taste for little girls. Apparently it’s been a runaway best seller in the UK (both the author and the setting are British). And you’d have to be a total whack-a-doodle like me to even pick up something like this.
Sugar & Spice doesn’t have the greatest writing in the world. The book has a peculiar distant quality — maybe a good thing — and the point of view changes are frequent, confusing, and totally jarring.
Still, I couldn’t put it down. Desforges sure did a lot of research into the dark unpleasant corners of the human psyche. And this book attempts to put you there. Full frontal. It’s not a comfortable place, but it does have all the fascinating quality of a colossal train wreck. There’s no brilliant storytelling here, although the prose is workmanlike and clear. The book could use a 15-20% trim-job. But it’s still a compelling journey if you like to read on the dark side.
If you don’t, stay far, far away.