After being held against their will in a house used for sex trafficking, three girls plan their escape.
Alex: A hardened goth-punk who’s convinced she’s a vampire with a penchant for blood.
Stacia: A seventeen-year-old raised by an alcoholic mother, her fellow prisoners the only family she’s ever truly had.
Kammy: The youngest of the three--a mute who finds solace in a houseplant.
But does life outside the house offer the freedom they’d envisioned? Or is it too late, the scars too deep?
A coming-of-age tale of revenge that explores a friendship and the desperate lengths they will go through to ensure they stay united, held together by the scars that bind them.
The Pale White by Chad Lutzke, in some respects, was an easy read. Short, strong author voice, deep POV, well-written, complex characters - a page turner.
But in reality, Mr. Lutzke told a disturbing tale of three girls held against their will for the sex by a man named Doc, that shook me to my core. Alex has been there the longest and has descended into the delusion that she is a vampire. Kammie, who has endured unspeakable horrors for all of her nine years on earth, has gone mute and bonded with a house plant. Stacia, seventeen and there for a year, has managed to hold on to most of her mental health. One day the tables turn on Doc and the girls are free to leave.
But then what? Decisions have to be made and a plan worked out. But it's easier said than done with three people in fragile states, one of whom hasn't been in the outside world in years, and other who has never experienced life outside of her four walls.
That's when this compelling story of survival, loyalty, and strength begins. I didn't expect the ending, and while it was a bit abrupt, I thought it worked.
Mr. Lutzke packs a powerful story into a relatively few pages. Well done.
I was given a complimentary ARC from Crystal Lake Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Available on Amazon here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chad lives in Michigan with his wife and children. For over two decades, he has been a contributor to several different outlets in the independent music and film scene, offering articles, reviews, and artwork. He has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. He's had a few dozen stories published, and some of his books include: OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES, WALLFLOWER, STIRRING THE SHEETS, SKULLFACE BOY, and OUT BEHIND THE BARN co-written with John Boden. Lutzke's work as been praised by authors Jack Ketchum, James Newman, Stephen Graham Jones and his own mother. He can be found lurking the internet at www.chadlutzke.com.