When Good Girls Go Bad

Reviewed by Andy Smart

This is another in the series of 'Motor City Thrillers' featuring adult bar owner Brett Higgins and her partner Allie. Brett is a tough butch with a shady past which has required her to flee Detroit for a couple of years while the heat dies down, and she's only just getting back on her feet in the strip club business. Allie is still unemployed and is unsure of what to do with her life, despite it being obvious to everybody who knows her that law enforcement is where both her heart and her talents lie. However her relationship with Brett makes such a career somewhat of a risky move. Things are complicated by the presence of her ex, hard-bitten detective Randi who makes no secret of the fact that she thinks Allie would be better off with her than with Brett.

One night Brett goes into the parking lot behind her club to find one of her dancers lying dead with her throat cut, and naturally suspicions fall first and foremost on Brett (who fortunately has an alibi), and then Randi turns up to assist with the investigation. Soon it becomes clear that a killer is praying on dancers at other clubs, and Brett's desire to find out who killed a dancer who was also her friend leads her and Allie to work with Randi and the cops to solve the crimes. Things are complicated by the arrival of a new dancer who is the spitting image of Brett's dead ex lover Storm who sets out to attempt to seduce Brett for reasons which seem decidedly sinister. Allie has to come to terms with Brett's feelings for Storm, and also with her attitudes to the dancers with whom Brett works and her attitudes to herself. Which leads on to one of the main themes of the book: sex

There is a lot of sex in this book, both in terms of the characters 'making the beast with two backs' but also in terms of the thoughts and feelings they arouse in each other. Szymanski can clearly write well, and sometimes can write sex scenes with flair and imagination; the section in which Allie discovers her own 'inner stripper' is imaginative, well authored and arousing. However some of the sex scenes in When Good Girls Go Bad are in my opinion somewhat dull and repetative, and at times verge on the tedious, which is a pity when the rest of the book is enjoyable to read. Perhaps a case of less would be more?

The conclusion is not too hard to deduce, though this doesn't detract from the book as it's readable and the relationships between the characters are as important as the unveilling of the killer. Worth a read.

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