Published by The Harriman Group (2011)
A bizarre and fascinating fantasy, it kept me wondering what would be the next surprise. Kensington Roth has a writing style all his own. A slow start that had me wondering what the point was, soon became clear it was setting the stage. Kensington's writing in this stage reads much like a screenplay in the way it describes thoughts, his character's perceptions and the perceptions her colleagues have of Alexandra Fine. For instance, you can quickly tell that Alex has been at the receiving end of bullying in the past, and a form of it in the present. Though smart and beautiful, she has low self-esteem. The importance of this as to her character becomes a pivotal point when the story really gets rolling. Scene settings are also written in the same descriptive yet abrupt sentences. Once set, the flow changes into story-telling mode.
Keeping a black widow spider as a pet may seem ludicrous to some people, but then some people keep poisonous snakes for pets. No one can doubt that Lexi has found a pastime that she enjoys, feeding her pet with insects and watching in fascination how the spider reacts, even to the point of the spider learning tricks such as pushing one insect aside for Lexi to give to her personally at which time the spider gives her a little "love nip". This little game is quite important to the story as it goes along.
Lexi works as executive secretary for the president at an oil trading company, an influential and coveted job that includes assisting at house parties and even hobnobbing with the rich and famous occasionally. She is also the single mother of a teenage daughter, Lindsey, who is absorbed with chat rooms on the internet, much to the consternation and worry of her mother. When she falls prey to one of the cyber-predators and disappears, Lexi understandably becomes distraught, and perhaps this trauma also acts as a trigger to the changes in her character. Whatever she has connected to with Ophelia, the black widow spider with her beautiful red hourglass marking, comes even more to the fore. The black widow spider is notably sexy and draws every male widow to her. So, when Lexi suddenly shows her sexiness, we begin go notice why the details of the spider are important. She also begins to be amazingly strong and develops into a superwoman. The changes in the character are exciting and fun and progress throughout the book.
I have no intentions of ruining the plot for prospective readers, so I will leave these hints and suggest reading the book. What has happened to Lindsey? Is she still alive? Will they find her in time? Who could have taken her? There are several twists and turns, and surprising suspects. The antics of Ophelia and the tragicomic storyline make this a stand-out plot, especially with the timely subject of cyber-crime, a terrible crime against young people that needs to be brought out such as the author has done with this entertaining book. I am happy to give it a good review because the potential for a future featuring this comic but human superhero is fantastic.