Painted Black got another 4-star review over at My Good Booskshelf. Nicola had some wonderful things to say about the characters and the pacing and is looking forward to my next Street Stories suspense novel.
An eye-opening character-driven suspense novel
Some of the themes in this book were quite dark (drugs, abuse, prostitution- amongst others….), but the author does a great job in weaving them together into a compelling storyline. I found Sidney, a funeral home worker to be inherently creepy, yet that was what made him so interesting to read about. I suppose my only criticism is that we never fully find out just why he does the weird things he does. Then again, with someone like that, perhaps it is best not knowing and it all adds to the overall mystery!
I have to say that I found all of the main characters to be really engaging and definitely felt that as a reader I could get into their heads; not Jo especially, though she was certainly well written- I just felt for both Lexie and Chris. They (and their situation on the streets) was vividly brought to life, along with a realistic, grittier side of Chicago that not a lot of people get to learn about. Often I find that teenagers voices don’t feel particularly ‘realistic’ in fiction, but thankfully it wasn’t the case here and they definitely came to life during the course of this novel. It is evident that the author has invested a lot of time in getting to know young people just like those she writes about in this book, and Chris and Lexie have both made an impression on me. Chris especially, seemed jaded for one so young, but considering his circumstances it is hardly surprising- it did make me think about how fortunate I am to have grown up in a stable home with the upbringing I have had and how other young people aren’t so lucky. Some of the aspects of this book were really hard hitting and the author should be commended for tackling such important, relevant subjects in the plot and not shying away from some of the grittier details.