Selena, written by Greg Barth is another fun pulp noir from the publisher All Due Respect. When I started reading this book, I didn’t know if Barth was a genius who understood damaged young women, or a writer making a strong but flawed female character. Is Selena an unreliable narrator? Could a character be this damaged yet this strong? Was Barth just writing some sick twisted male fantasy of a woman? I didn’t know and still don’t, all I know is I couldn’t put down the book and had to force myself to, or it was going to be a sleepless work night.
This book is split into three parts and each part has a different feel. The first part is a brutal revenge noir, the second is a country noir, and the third is a survival noir. All three parts are told in the first person by Selena herself with the exception of the third part which bounces from first person to third person and back.
Selena is an interesting character that has gone through a lot. She is a stripper, prostitute, alcoholic who occasionally partakes in drugs and was an abused child. Her Mother died when she was young and she has been struggling ever since. The book opens with Selena waking up from a one night stand and when she steals some cash and a CD, things get dark fast. Something is on the CD, but she doesn’t know it. She is attacked at the strip club she works at and is brutally beaten and raped. When she recovers and sets out to get even, we are lead on a violent journey where one act of revenge escalates to another, until we are in an all out war.
Selena is about as damaged a character I have ever read. As I was reading this, I couldn’t get past thinking if this character was based on any possible truth. After a few hundred pages I stopped analyzing Selena and just sat back and enjoyed the ride she took me on. After all this is pulp fiction, it doesn’t have to be based on any kind of reality.
I will warn you, this is a very brutal and violent book. If you are squeamish, this may not be the book for you. If you like your sex, drugs and violence brutal and bloody, you will enjoy Selena. Thanks to All Due Respect and Greg Barth for another dark pulpy entertaining book and can’t wait to tackle the recently released sequel Diesel Therapy soon.
Both books are available over at http://allduerespectbooks.com/