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Our Lady of Pain - Book Review

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by TheOnlyFiona (subscribe)
In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published June 7th 2015
When rough love turns criminal
Beautiful, successful and dying for rough love. Fast paced with more polished writing, Elena Forbes' second novel in the DI Mark Tartaglia series is what you'd hope for. I had read this one before the first novel. It's immediately obvious that Forbes has really tightened up her writing. Both cases are interesting and filled with twist, but this one has a much better overall structure.

our lady of pain elena forbes
Book cover from

The victim was a seemingly happy and successful young woman. Rachel had it all but she harboured a dark secret. She's found dead, naked and bound like sado-masochism gone bad. Disturbingly, Rachel is gagged with the killer's calling card, poetry from a Victorian poet who famously loved SM.

Mark and Sam can't make sense of it. The case is linked to an unsolved case. There are no connections and no leads. All they have is the defining pattern of the serial killer, which is how the body is positioned like someone begging for mercy. All Mark and Sam seem to be able to do is circle around the idea that this is a killer with a taste for SM.

The events of Die With Me directly affect this novel. There's a strong sense of continuity so far in the series. However at times, Our Lady of Pain feels like it could be a police procedural show where the backstories are artfully hinted at. It also provides a different take on the SM fad in fiction. Like an episode of Law & Order: SVU, it presents an issue of consent. One of the most interesting story arcs is where Forbes explores the potential for domestic violence.

Our Lay of Pain executes its themes in a more darker and absorbing manner than its predecessor. The characters are drawn into interesting possibilities whilst developing on previous storylines. The subject matter is handled respectfully and not just for shock factor. This is more than simply SM gone wrong.
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Your Comment
What a gorgeous cover for such dark subject matter! Thanks for your review :)
by Kristin Ravelle (score: 2|302) 1001 days ago
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