Some men don’t know when to quite or all it a day. George Fisher was hot for a quick, looking for a romp in the hay with Sherrie Weston prostitute extraordinaire. Something happens. Pent up, excited and definitely poor George was hoping not to strike out with Sherrie. But, Sherrie as the reader learns can’t stand George and is just doing this, as a business opportunity that she hoped would be lucrative in the long run. Poor George never saw it coming and this dear readers was his final jolt in life. As tings heat up our prostitute decides to go in for you might say financial kill. Sherrie having her own agenda in mind for George whispers something in his ear that either got him too excited, frightened him or just plain made him keel but not over just on top of poor Sherrie. Sometimes blackmail can work but in this case the poor man died and left his big corpse right on top of this woman who remained stuck under him until she was finally rescued.
George or the late George Fisher was a member of the Bayside Yacht Club and the women of this club would now when they find out facts have something besides tanning and eating to occupy their conversation and thoughts. Megan, Alexandra, Kathleen and Rachel are four friends that belong to this club and when the facts about the murder are brought to light and made public, you know women, they have their own take on it and can’t help but weigh in with their own opinions.
When your husbands are notorious for cheating, but still pay your bills what’s a wife to do except spend his money. Alexandra is married to a cheat, Megan’s relationships have all gone sour, Kathleen is not very stable and Rachel finds the world quite humorous. What is the plan to get revenge on a rotten fiancé, cheating husband and just plain need to have some real fun, get a toy boy? Rachel feels that this is the perfect solution to their problems. Why not hire a guy or guys to take care or service you when the call, desire or urge befalls you. Enter Helen Jennings the queen gossip of the club who makes sure that everyone knows the dirt and facts behind poor George’s untimely demise. Heart attack or something else? Why is this about to be treated as part of a murder investigation linked to the death of Sherrie’s friend Allison? But, dear reader let me add that just before George keels over he spies the picture of Allison and becomes irate when he sees it. Studying the picture in the frame for some reason upsets poor George. Well, Alex things this whole situation is appalling. Rachel finds it humorous. Megan is dismayed and Kathleen is just too fragile. But, what about his poor wife Junie? Does anyone really care about her feelings or is she going to run, skip and laugh her way to the bank?
Enter one hot detective named Matt Donovan who has Megan’s interest from the start. Questioning all of the women about George brings to light the murder of Allison dubbed the Bondage Murder. As Matt delves further into his death he finds a link between Sherrie, George and Allison. One business card with Sherrie’s information found in George’s jacket pocket, on the reverse side Allison’s number. Just how do these two deaths tie together? But, some fates are not just left for one but for more than one as Sherrie’s fate was the same as her friends. The author describes the victim, the murder and the mutilation quite graphically for the reader as we learn that George had Sherrie’s card in his jacket pocket with Allison’s number of the reverse side as Matt Donovan delves into the murder. The crime scene was not wiped clean and the evidence just might be there. What was the connection to George as we also learn that Sherrie was filming the events, DVD’s were sent to her and others found. Someone was making plenty off of this and a serial killer or mutilator was out there targeting prostitutes. Why?
Megan’s ex decided to pay her unwelcome visit to get some of his clothes. Brian seemed strange, his behavior odd, too friendly and suggestive when talking to Megan. Jumpy and on edge we learn more about her past, how she met Brian and her addiction to alcohol and food. Megan drowns her sorrows in chocolate. But, we now have another play Detective Angelle Bentley who Matt finds alluring and attractive but will she do the job? So, why is he thinking about Megan and what will happen next?
Mrs. Zuckerman is a wealth of too much information as Matt learns more about a man named Michael Harrington and hopes to link him to the murders. Working for the same place as Sherrie, going over to her house to check on her does not give him the perfect alibi according to the two detectives. Party Favorites provides entertainment for many different occasions. Imagine your own personal birthday card from someone like Sherrie! But, Sherrie was often high on drugs, Allison too and the link to these S&M murders has yet to be found. Is this Michael the real killer?
Back to the four friends who are now drowning their sorrows and woes in drinks as each one relates the next unfortunate chapter in their love lives to each other. Megan just recalls her own, Rachel’s husband is cheating and she caught him in the act. He doesn’t know. Alex has it all figured out. Don’t let on you know and poor Kathleen’s husband Gino has decided to move on child and all leaving her a wimping and crying mess. Just what happens to drag these women into the murder just wait and see. There is much more to tell as I continue my review of Deadly Pleasures, which if you think about it, is the end result for these women.
George’s funeral would bring all of the players together but not before the police decide to question and arrest Michael Harrington for Sherrie’s murder. Blackmail, lies, deceit and a serial killer are just some of what makes up this intriguing and fast paced plot. As Rachel decides to do something about her life, Megan wonders what she is really up to, as Alex and Charlie along with the rest go to the funeral, which proves to be quite unique. Each one reacting in her own way, poor Junie playing the grieving widow the scene was often comical or surreal but definitely not indicative of your typical funeral.
The funeral over and no one seemed that upset as they party returns to the Yacht club to celebrate George’s life. But, what happens next will definitely rock you to the core if you are not familiar with hard core S&M you will definitely get a first hand view, education and tour of many places that offer this as recreation, diversion and much more. Why was Rachel definitely going to enlist the aid of her own toy boy hoping to entice the others too? Let’s recap for just a moment: Why was Rachel trying to gain entrance into a kinky club? Where does Brian fit in? Why was he so friendly with Gino?
The investigation revealed that there were many others involved including a murder in San Francisco that links with the ones Matt was dealing with. Even more the owner of the Party Favorites, Fantasy Films where the DVD’s originated and his wife was a member of the Yacht club even more she had not idea about these businesses or her husband’s sexual preferences. The plot thickens, the suspects add up and the clues are all scattered but the murders all the same. But, when the detectives approach Helen, whose ex-husband owned all of the above another piece of the puzzle is revealed about the location of the Bondage Murders. But, Helen decides a little afternoon diversion for the ladies might be fun who better than to serve it up: Michael Harrington!
When the pieces finally fit into place and the players are all together just who the killer is will definitely surprise the reader and the reasons behind the murders too. Who lives? Who else falls prey to our killer you won’t believe as Matt and Angelle race the clock to save not only Megan but also the others when the killer is revealed, their lives are in danger and one woman would never be the same. Author Mary Firmin allows the reader to take a first hand look at these S&M clubs, the history behind them is shared and the need to have a man in some women’s lives might just lead to more than just Deadly Pleasures. This is one book that will make you think twice before getting involved with a toy boy, going to these clubs and finding happiness in all the wrong places. Great novel. Great characters. Let’s hope they return to solve more murders.
Fran Lewis: reviewer