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bowlaramaAuthor Sylvia Storm had a weird, atmospheric dream. Luckily for us, she got it down in writing before it evaporated. The result is an erotic thriller that’s Kafka + Chandler + Anais Nin + The Godfather + Dirty Harry. It’s set in a formless, disturbed milieu in which Sarah can’t remember who she is, where she works (maybe the Bowlarama?), why she’s there, or anything–except that she’s on a mission to kill a man with a gun and a silencer.

Her description of her predicament resonates with my 20s and 30s: “I am lost in a world that knows me, yet I know nobody and nothing about it. I play by rules I have no idea how to follow. I stumble through life and pray stupidity is good enough to keep me alive. Helpless. And another day always comes.” (My problem was immaturity, no college degree, and a lousy string of jobs, not a hit job that I was compelled to do.)

Bleak? You bet. But hang in there for a sizzling lesbian romp that hits like a cold bucket of water to the face. It’s Sarah and Jin, a Chinese takeout delivery girl. In front of a roomful of mobsters (like in an erotic dream). Alone, this is worth the price of admission (and Storm, brazenly and effectively breaks off the scene to continue with the plot, which heats up to the level of the sex scene and to a finale that’s as gory as the sex was hot). But there’s a whole lot more here from a writer showing real control of her craft. A highly recommended, genre-busting short novel that delivers on all fronts.