A thrilling crime novel set in the Lovely Lady strip club in 1990s Illinois, that asks what it means to be a woman in a dangerous world
'Very possibly the best crime fiction book since Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects' Neel Mukherjee
Three Women meets Tana French in a compulsive, unflinching and unexpectedly hopeful thriller set in a midwestern strip club.
'Gritty, glittery and pulsing with life' Sara Sligar
'Bold, compelling, brutal and brilliant' Chris Whitaker It's 1999, and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club.
She's not used to taking anyone under her wing - after all, between her disapproving boyfriend and his daughter, who may as well be her own child, she has enough to worry about. But when Samantha overrides her better judgment to drive a new dancer home, they are run off the road. The police arrive at the scene of the accident - but find only one body.
Georgia, another dancer, is drawn into the investigation as she tries to assist Holly, a detective with a complicated story of her own. As the point of view shifts from police officers and detectives to club patrons, the women circle around a list of suspects, all the while grappling with their own understanding of loss and love.
As they get closer to the truth they must each confront a fundamental question:
How do women live their lives knowing that men can hurt them?
Very possibly the best crime fiction book since Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, Real Easy is turn-your-phone-off-and-cancel-all-your-meetings gripping. But it is also so much more than that: every character is instantly alive and recognisable the moment they appear on the page; the writing is sustainedly beautiful and intelligent, at times lyrical, at others, sassy and crackling; and the psychological underpinnings are unerring, resonant, utterly convincing. This book is a winner, whichever way you turn it
This book blew me away. Real Easy is an electric thrill ride that takes a hard look at the high price women pay for men's desire. Rutkoski renders her characters with exquisite compassion and detail, even as the book accelerates toward an unforgettable conclusion. Gritty, glittery, and pulsing with life
With a fully-realized world, a compelling mystery, fascinating characters, and beautiful prose, Marie Rutkoski's Real Easy will capture readers and stay in their minds forever. It is absolutely unputdownable.