by L S Hilton
By day Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a London auction house.
By night she's a hostess in one of the capital's unsavoury bars.
Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She's learned to dress, speak and act in the interests of men. She's learned to be a good girl. But after uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life are torn apart.
So she turns to a long-neglected friend.
A friend that kept her chin up and back straight through every past slight.
A friend that a good girl like her shouldn't have: Rage.
The Talented Mr Ripley meets Gone Girl in this darkly decadent and compelling new thriller that asks:
Where do you go when you've gone too far?
OK, so this book is not going to satisfy everyone, it's probably not going to satisfy the majority, but it's undeniably hard to put down. Like a rubbernecker you probably shouldn’t look but can’t help but do so.
Maestra has a central character that’s not likable. Liverpudlian Judith Rashleigh is ruthless and brutal, an island of force, crashing through Europe and leaving destruction in her wake. A gallery worker who has worked hard to get there, ridden herself of her native accent and studying art to an expert degree. Still, she’s not taken seriously, she’s treated as a dog’s body by her boss who thinks it’s acceptable to send her out on a job knowing she’s likely to be sexually assaulted. After she’s sacked for questioning the provenance of a piece of art, Judith and a pal, Leanne, rinse men for a lifestyle of nice clothes and comfort. Then a man dies. Judith is on the run, in deep with the mafia, trying to exploit those with money. And she's good at it. She thinks quickly on her feet and is prepared to cross any line.
It’s a brutal read. The language is coarse. The sex scenes GRAPHIC. It’s seedier than a watermelon and just as juicy. If you’re easily offended don’t bother. If you want a pacy read, with action, and true escapism and fantasy, this may be well be for you. It's compelling and entertains with its visual prose. A movie on the page. I gather it’s a trilogy – fifty shades of thrills!
About L S Hilton
Lisa Hilton grew up in the north of England and read English at New College, Oxford, after which she studied History of Art in Florence and Paris.
Lisa has lived in New York, Paris and Milan, and now in London. She is the author of five historical biographies and three novels, and as L.S. Hilton, psychological thrillers Maestra and Domina. She is also the librettist of opera Love Hurts, and works as a regular feature writer and reviewer, journalist, lecturer, broadcaster.