M. Barr, Expired Listings: Revenge Begins at Home, 2016
Full disclaimer: As a general rule I don’t enjoy erotica fiction. That being said, though, D. M. Barr’s novel, Expired Listings: Revenge Begins at Home, combines the BDSM lifestyle with a murder mystery novel effectively. There are a few full chapters of erotica but the main focus of the novel falls on the murders of realtors in Dana’s home town. The novel itself is a well-written and well-structured novel which kept me second guessing everyone’s chances at being the killer, and I still found myself surprised at the eventual reveal.
The main aspect on a murder-mystery novel rests on the finish with the reveal, and Expired Listings successfully executes this in a way which is surprising yet laden with clues. The chapters are presented by dates, yet starts off by including a chapter from March before returning back to January. This, along with a couple other sporadic chapters continuing this timeline, proves effective as it allows us into the killer’s first-person narration, even if it doesn’t offer us very much insight at face value. On the topic of the chapters being dated, one issue I had was the lack of weekdays given. When characters were pondering events that are to happen on a certain day, it felt a little bit frustrating not knowing exactly what week day we were currently on to know how long they have left. One on instance it was the same day yet I was unaware.
That, and the ever-changing mindset on whether the Oxford comma should be used or not, was the only issue I had with the novel which kept me reading and absorbing clues despite my failed guess at the killer. While the erotica chapters were of no interest to me, the kink world that Dana is involved in helped the story. Dana, operating under her kink nickname of This, seeks out an alibi from Dare, her kink-partner, but as a married man he is reluctant to help, and this living a double life proves clever as characters such as Dare are shown to keep secrets, which we uncover as the novel progresses.
Overall D. M. Barr’s novel was a very interesting murder-mystery novel that kept me second guessing right to the end. The characters were each unique and believable with a variety to choose from when predicting the ultimate killer. Very much worth a read.
Final verdict: A well worded and put together novel that kept me guessing through all the suspects.
*Buy it on Amazon here*