Title: The Schwarzschild Radius
Author: Gustavo Florentin
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: Review copy from publisher
Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student, descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared.
After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony.
When she finds Olivia, Rachel becomes the killer’s next target.
This is going to be one of those hard-to-write reviews. Why? Because I liked The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin, but couple of times I almost gave up on finishing it.
Let me explain, The Schwarzschild Radius is well-written and has a story that you can’t help but get into it and couple of pages into it you are trapped and want/need to know what is coming next; BUT – yes, a “but” in capitals – the content of the book is so disturbing it was difficult for me to read it. There were parts I read really fast and with one eye closed because they were just too upsetting for me.
The Schwarzschild Radius shows the depravity of the human race and how low a person can fall. It also deals with very serious and terrifying topics like pedophilia, child prostitution, sadism, torture, and human trafficking.
The book starts with an online auction. The Webmaster is auctioning Olivia’s life. The winner will decide how Olivia will die and the torture she should suffer for days before her death.
Rachel is desperate to find her missing sister Olivia. She knows the police is doing its best to find her, but she also knows the police can’t go to places where she can go. With that in mind she starts to trace Olivia’s steps and discovers secrets she didn’t know about her sister. Secrets that take her to work in a strip joint and to give private dances in the homes of rich pedophiles. The underworld Rachel discovers is horrifying, disturbing and worst of all, easily trapping.
Rachel takes advantage of her visits to these houses by hacking the computers of her “customers”. She is sure one of them knows what happened to Olivia. The only problem is Rachel’s investigation has caught the Webmaster’s attention and he is willing to do anything to stop her.
I really liked Rachel and her courage. Her love for her sister was very real and it made her easy to identify with. Rachel is one of those heroines you can’t help but cheer along the way and suffer page after page because you know something bad is coming her way and the last thing you want is for her to suffer more than she already has.
Olivia is a character I would like to know more about. We know she became part of the underworld of pedophilia because she needed money for a good cause; but what I can’t understand is why she didn’t leave that life behind after she got the money she needed and why she continue living in that world.
There were more things about her, especially at the end that I would have liked to know more, but it was hardly touched. Sorry I’m not very specific, but I don’t want to give spoilers away.
As I said before, the story is entangling and terrifying. More than once I wished I could give the book to somebody else so that person will finish it for me and tell me how it all ends without the horrific details; but that wasn’t an option, so I just sat on the edge of my seat, put on my big girl pants and kept on going. So you can see, despite my problems with the content of the book (triggers) I couldn’t put it down, that shows you how good The Schwarzschild Radius is.
The Schwarzschild Radius is gritty, dark, raw, explicit, horrifying and so freaking good. The Schwarzschild Radius is not a book for everybody due to its content. It is also a book for mature audience.
The Schwarzschild Radius was my first book by Gustavo Florentin, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
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