Verdict: LORI DANIELS MYSTERY: Pillow Talk is a hard-hitting, no-nonsense, erotic crime thriller with a few digressions and missteps along the way.
PILLOW TALK is the story of hard-charging police detective Lori Daniels, who finds herself in extreme danger when her romantic interests intersect with her job busting a major gang. Whenever Lori’s squad conducts a raid, the Fifth Street Gang—Philadelphia’s scourge—seems to have had advanced warning. Lori herself is suspected of helping the gang, and traps are laid to catch her. The stakes are raised when another female detective is found murdered; ties to the gang indicate she may have been compromised.
In the end, with a mole inside the department and an undercover cop working within the gang, it isn’t clear whom Lori Daniels needs to shoot. What is clear is she’s slept with all of them, because in addition to an action story, Tom Preschutti’s book is also a steamy romance, with some explicit, no nonsense sex scenes. Said to have a history of “making bad choices when it comes to men,” Lori’s problem is actually much worse: for no apparent reason she puts up with all sorts of awful behavior from a series of jerks with whom she shares her bed. Another of her traits—a learning disorder—is more endearing, but less time is spent on that. Why she bothers with (and claims to love) any of the men she hooks up with is maybe the book’s biggest mystery.
PILLOW TALK is at its best detailing the action-packed police raids and the final shoot-out at a remote forest setting. At worst, the book goes into far too much detail on less important matters like finding a parking spot, whether there’s a meter, or describing rooms in the kind of detail—size and shape, colors—only an architect, interior decorator or realtor would find interesting. That space might have been better spent dealing with the main characters’ interior thoughts and emotions, of which there is little to go on. Many of the scenes could have started later in the action, and ended earlier, for a more dynamic narrative.
There are quite a number of characters to keep straight, which becomes confusing, and one key thread involving a chalkboard is set up nicely but then never pays off, another misstep that mars an otherwise mostly exciting, erotic, and easy-to-read story.
LORI DANIELS MYSTERY: Pillow Talk is a hard-hitting, no-nonsense, erotic crime thriller with a few digressions and missteps along the way.
~Dave Eisenstark for IndieReader