■ REVIEW: Maestra
A positive? It’s better than 50 Shades

Judith Raleigh leads something of a double life, working as an auction house assistant in London during the day, and as a hostess in a somewhat unsavoury bar by night.

She knows how to play the game: she knows how to act and interact with me to get what she wants, in both her worlds. However, after uncovering a dark secret in the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life disappear.

It is then that she embraces an old friend that has helped her in the past: rage.

This book has been plugged by the publisher as the most shocking thriller you’ll read this year, and as this year’s answer to The Girl on the Train. I wasn’t as much of a fan of The Girl on the Train as most others seem to be (the lead character just annoyed the hell out of me), but I’m not sure I’d agree with the comparison anyway.

This is an erotic novel about sex, murder and shopping, featuring a lead character who probably does even more to belittle the battle for gender equality than that silly wench in the 50 Shades books. But there is a redeeming feature here, and it’s a big one: the writing is actually pretty good, which makes the book pretty readable.

This one’s not going to set the world alight, and if you were truly a fan of the 50 Shades series this might be a little too intellectual for your tastes, but all-in-all it’s an OK read.

Maestra, by L S Hilton (Zaffre, RRP $32.99)

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