Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BLOOD ECHO by Melissa Simonson_Review

Review of Blood Echo by Melissa Simonson
4 stars

Iris and Estella are hard-charging, party-animal, trust-fund babies, good-looking, well-dressed and styling. That’s the fa├žade, but underneath are two souls marching through a wasteland, a void, empty shells encasing empty hearts—until—Estella’s self-mutilation reaches the extreme, and she dies at her own hand. Now it’s just one empty shell, Iris, surrounded by people who almost without exception don’t understand her, or Estella. When a close family member of Estella’s is brutally slain, with cocaine dumped on the corpse in some sort of message—to the police? To the remaining family? To Iris?—focus turns to Iris, whose addiction, just as Estella’s, often ran rampant and obsessive.

The characters and settings of this novel put me in mind of those of Noel Coward and Edward Albee: upscale, society scions, disenchanted, and eternally bored and jaded. Their disenchantment is well illustrated, and their backgrounds well-delineated and easy to visualize in the reader’s imagination.

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