Tuesday, January 7, 2020

These Women by Ivy Pochoda

5 Stars

If you can’t tell from the timing of this review in relation to the publication date and the placeholder “review” below, apparently begging sometimes works. After reading both Visitation Street and Wonder Valley I was all over this request like stink on shit. I absolutely did not need a blurb, but I loved the one provided . . . . .

A serial killer story like you've never seen before.

This is a serial killer story – one that takes place in South Central L.A. that started 15 years prior with thirteen women (all presumed to be prostitutes by the police) being found dead in back alleys with their throats slit and plastic bags over their heads – but it’s a serial killer story delivered in Ivy Pochoda’s style. In case you aren’t familiar with the way this author writes a mystery, the whodunit factor doesn’t really even start to ramp up until the 60% mark (and is solved by around 80%). Her stories aren’t about the killer – or necessarily even about the victims – they are about the community. Narrators here include Dorian – whose 15-year old daughter was one of the victims so many years ago, Julianna – a young girl from the neighborhood who finds herself falling further into the same lifestyle as the victims of the past, Essie – a vice cop with a jaded past, Marella – a wannabe artist who may have been from the neighborhood, but lived a different sheltered life, Anneke – Marella’s mother who simply wants to keep her house in order, and Feelia – the sole survivor. Oh, and dare I forget the most important character in all of Pochoda’s stories – the neighborhood. This time it’s . . . . .

The time hops between the past of 1999 when the first bodies started showing up and the present (in this case 2014) where it might be happening again. So yes, it’s a story about a serial killer, but it’s also a story that touches on race and privilege and upbringing and circumstance and obligations and wrong place/wrong time and so much more.

You’ll know fairly quickly if you dig Pochoda’s style. Obviously I love it. Her writing makes me want to say things that I’m not young or hip enough to say like . . . . .

Easily one of my favorite authors. All the Stars.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!


It worked earlier this week sooooooooooooooooooo . . . .

If these publishers would just give me their home phone numbers I wouldn't have to do these public displays ; )

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