PEEPSHOW
Leigh Redhead

 


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Allen & Unwin, This Edition published March 2007
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

Francesco (Frank) Parisi, the sleazy owner of the strip club Red Room, has been murdered. His body is found stuffed into a black plastic bag and floating off a Melbourne beach. When his brother Salvatore sets out to avenge his death, his main suspect is a stripper called Chloe. Enter Chloe’s best friend Simone Kirsch, a stripper who currently works in a Peepshow. Simone recently tried to join the Victorian police force, but they rejected her because of her current job. Undeterred, Simone has recently completed a Private Investigator’s course. She convinces Salvatore that she can go undercover at the Red Room to find the real murderer, to prove that Chloe’s innocence. Salvatore gives her two weeks, and holds Chloe hostage.

Simone becomes a table/lap dancer at Red Room and launches into an investigation. Questioning the girls at the club, she quickly discovers there is no shortage of people who had reasons to kill Frank. Just as she congratulates herself for a successful investigation she violently discovers that her cover is blown. Now all she has to do is find out who the murderer is and stay alive.

Author Leigh Redhead introduces us to a world that many of us have no idea about. We meet a wide variety of characters, exotic dancers, strippers, dominatrixes and submissives and all the sleazy characters that are drawn to them. Add to the mix a rockabilly band, mobsters and dirty police and Redhead brings alive a part of society that many of us will never understand, or be part of. Leigh Redhead spent time in this world, having worked as a stripper in the Melbourne scene for a while, so she is writing about what she knows.

PEEPSHOW is a good read, full of black humour, hot sex and violence. None of it gratuitous; and all of it appropriate for the setting. This is not a book for a reader who has problems with the sex industry. However, the girls will surprise you – no blonde bimbos being used here, instead most of them are very intelligent, and some are even university students, leaving you wondering who is using whom! There is drug use in this book, and its usage is accepted as normal by the characters that inhabit this world. However the reader’s role is not to condemn but to read and enjoy a great romp of a murder investigation. PEEPSHOW is the first in a series, followed by RUBDOWN and CHERRY PIE, and Redhead is currently writing a fourth.

May 2007 review originally published on Murder & Mayhem


 

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