The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre is a freaky book. Say you’re walking through the Red Light District of Amsterdam and you want to look because you’re curious as heck but you’re not sure you’re going to like what you see if you do, so you just peek out the corner of your eye because you’re brain’s convinced it’s safer than a full frontal … yeah, well, that kind of sums up most of The Girl in 6E and how I felt about it. Yet, for some bizarre reason, it was this curiosity that kept me reading.
So, we meet Deanna. Introvert? Extrovert? Who knows? I don’t think she even knows. But she is 100% an intriguing soul who easily lures the reader into listening to her tale. This MC is a webcam gal—sells virtual sex for money and makes a packet doing so, and doesn’t even have to leave her apartment (like ever) to pull it off. Why does she this live this way? Because she has murderous tendencies—a strong desire to kill and maim and create blood to fill her mind’s dark cravings. So, why do we like her? you ask. Well, because she pretty much fights those urges every step of the way, and goes to great lengths to keep the outside population safe from herself. And she pretty much succeeds in maintaining her distance. Until the postie blows her carefully built fortress to pieces.
Jeremy is the postman’s name. Usually, he sticks to the routine he’s adopted with Deanna: he fakes her signature as the receiver of her deliveries when she shouts at him to just leave it, and then leaves any packages outside her door—and there are a LOT (she never leaves the house, remember?). But the more parcels he’s delivered to there, the more intrigued he’s grown. A natural progression. This is probably the kind of scenario that, if you’re the sort of person who likes to chat about your work over a few beers with friends, you’d be trying to figure out with said friends who—or what—might be hiding behind that door. Except he refuses to believe it’s anything bad, because he becomes enraptured by her voice—to the point he begins looking forward to hearing it and yearns for a glimpse at the woman behind it. And he finally gets his chance—because, whilst he’s always been respectful of Deanna’s privacy, he can’t help but feel he has to step in when he hears strange noises (I’ll leave those to your imagination) coming from inside the apartment, and worries about the mystery woman, and lo and behold, upon trying the door he finds it unlocked, rushes in, and voila, he’s suddenly face to face with her. However, the encounter ain’t all peaches and cream. Because Jeremy is the first in-the-flesh person Deanna has seen in quite a long time (because of those abovementioned reasons).
However, that is all I’m giving you on those two at this point, because I hate spoilers, so I’m going to move on to the other parts of the story. Like I said, Deanna is a webcammer, and so meets (via her webcam) ALL. KINDS. Of FREAKY. CLIENTS. I’m sure you can imagine. And the bigger part of the first half of the book is spent with her showing us glimpses into her created world and the work that she does. We meet her clients. Get to understand all of the fetishes she has to cater for. However, not all fetishes are simple, and not all of them leave innocents unharmed. So, when Deanna gets a really bad feeling about the fetishes of one of her clients, every warning system her body holds starts blaring. More so, when she realises the client she’s been catering to is no long play acting and has moved onto acting out his fantasies for real. But she’s the only one who knows—so she ventures out. For the first time in years. Because she believes that only she can stop him.
Now, I could waffle on more about what Mr Postie has to do with any of this, or how said venturing out works for Ms Dark Desires, or if she stops the creepy and paedophilic (there, I said it) client from pulling off his plans … But I won’t. Because I’ve already given out way more in a review than I normally would, though this one would have been hard without giving at least some kind of warning. So, I’ll try and sum up my feelings about the book instead.
In The Girl in 6E, we see plenty of sex, but it isn’t really erotic and sensual but more educationally enlightening and intriguing; we see some dark themes and fantasies (paedophilia has already been mentioned, but we aren’t given too much on that angle to repulse the reader—the MC very much DOESN’T condone it); we are given a mystery that needs solving, a child that needs saving, both of which turn this book into a thriller of a ride; we are given a hint at a most unusual romance with a very endearing knight in shining armour (though he only gets to save her when and from what SHE dictates); AND we get an MC who fights an internal battle against urges she has but doesn’t want to carry out, with a slowly unveiled history to help us understand her, both of which ENSURE we emphasise with someone who should probably send us running away; we also get a multi-faceted story AND MC, with more than one plot angle to follow and cheer for—man, even the writing style was intriguing … so, yeah, this one held my interest for sure.
The only minus I have is the ending. The very, very ending—not the wrapping up of the crime mystery but the wrapping up of the mystery of Deanna’s character. Because it felt too neat. Too much of a turn around. And I think that could have been resolved with something as simple as her having a slightly twisted thought right at the end. But that was just me—I love a good speculative ending. So, go read it.