This review is based on a free copy received from the author but reflects my honest opinion. Mr. Winters has done a lot of research and gives a good insight into the pornographic film industry, which has evolved greatly since what was depicted in the film Boogie Nights. Ashley was a former star in the industry and is living on the East Coast. She get a call that her sister Tara commited suicide and gets on a plane to go back to Los Angeles to attend the funeral.
Tara was also in the porn flick business that Ashley had left. Coming back to LA makes Ashley run into all the old faces she knew when she was a star herself. As Ashley starts asking questions about her sister's death, she suspects that she may have been murdered. However, every person she meets insists it was suicide, especially the investigating detective Collins. Tara was found hanged in her apartment with her doors and windows all locked and no sign that anyone else had gotten in.
Ashley decides to start her own investigation starting with Tara's ex-husband Rob. Ashley is sure he murdered Tara. But like many of these investigative tales when people can't depend on the police to do the investigation, Ashley keeps shifting her suspicion to virtually everyone she knew. There are some instances where Ashley is walking into possible danger and the reader wonders why she can be so reckless at times. The "uncaring" police is a fairly used plot formula in many of these types of tales and the reader can easily predict how Ashley's meetings with Detective Collins will turn out each time.
What really makes the story work is the excellent writing style of Mr. Winters. He writes like a well-seasoned pro and makes this tale hold up well, kind of like a well written soap opera plot (if there is such a thing). His writing was so good that I was able to sail through this book rather fast. Also, I found some of the nuances of the new porn film industry interesting. For that I give this book four stars.
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A shocking page-turner that explores the dark side of the multibillion-dollar porn industry.
Ashley Hale was a rising star in the adult entertainment world before she abruptly moved to the other side of the country, leaving behind money, fame, and excitement for a nine-to-five bank job and a sensible apartment. But there was one tie to the industry she could not sever. Her sister, Tara, was also a porn star. Two years later, when Tara supposedly commits suicide, Ashley must return to the San Fernando Valley and the life she thought she'd left behind. Now she's not sure who she can trust--especially the handsome new video editor who seems intent on helping her. But she won't leave Los Angeles until she's proven Tara's death was a murder. And until she's faced the killer.
One of the most thrilling and original novels of the year, Hardcore crackles with sexual tension, great characters, and enough twists to keep mystery and thriller fans turning pages until every secret is revealed.