This is a captivating thriller by author Nic Penrake, with a certain neo-noir vibe. Some passages are remininscient of Nabokov’s Lolita. The novel tells the story of Anthony Price, a London dentist and family man who falls madly in love with a mysterious and attractive young lady. Driven by intense desire, he finds himself entangled in a dangerous situation that may put his life and the lives of his loved ones in danger. The story unfolds slowly, giving the reader time to get to know Anthony, and, even if you might not agree with the choices that he makes, the character is likeable, so you still end up cheering for him.
Anthony’s confessions are often raw and emotional, so you almost feel as if you are reading a personal journal instead of a work of fiction. The neo-noir touches and the shocking twists in the plot create a thrilling atmosphere as you visualise the scenes in your mind, words start moving and the stage is set for Nic Penrake’s characters to come alive.
As for the sexual encounters, the author does a fantastic job of describing the tension, desire and emotion of the main character, and the occasionally blunt writing style reminds us of the works of Henry Miller.
This book is a great read for anyone who enjoys a slow and well developed storyline, and who is not afraid of explicit language or graphic sexual scenes. Male readers may find themselves identifying with the main character while female readers will enjoy looking inside the mind of an ordinary man driven insane by extraordinary desires, and situations.
The Girl Who Wants Out is definitely a book worth reading, and, once you get into it, you will not want to put it down until you get to the very last page. Personally, I saw the ending coming but that only made me feel good about catching all the signs that the author offers throughout the story.
Listen to Nic reading from his work here