Barks & Bites's Reviews > Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches by Thomas Tessier
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Jan 25, 10

bookshelves: horror, hardcore-horror
Read in August, 2005

This is one disturbingly creepy book! It's about Tom, a young-ish American guy, fresh out of medical school and somewhat unsatisfied with the "general practice" position he fell into by default when nothing else grabbed him. He decides to drop everything and take a trip to London. There he meets an older guy, a plastic surgeon, who begins to show him the seedier, hidden side of London nightlife.

One night the Tom is supposed to meet the old doc for a night out on the town. When Tom shows up at the old doc's office he's told by Lina, a gorgeous woman with flowing black locks, that the doc can't make it and she will entertain him instead. Tom can't believe his good fortune. It gets better. Lina is apparently attracted to Tom and they have wild erotic sex (but that isn't detailed all that much, darn). Tom is in love immediately and Lina, though a little aloof and a tad secretive, seems to feel the same. When Tom is completely under Lina's spell he'll soon do anything (and I do mean anything) to keep her in his life. After a completely disturbing episode involving Tom, Lina and an Asian woman whose name we never know Tom fears Lina may be a tad, ah, off her nut. But shoot, he's in Love, and can't seem to stay away from her for any length of time. . . Yeah, Tom is a bit of a pansy. The book tells the story from Tom's point of view and really gets into his head. We watch a normal, boring, self-centered guy play out his deepest, darkest fantasies and see how these episodes change him.

This book is really got under my skin in a "Last House on the left" nightmarish-slash-realism sort of way. You know, when you don't want to watch (read) but you almost can't help yourself? This is stuff that could possibly happen to any weak willed guy with murderous tendencies swayed by lust which makes it all the more creepier. The ending escalates into madness and is thoroughly horrible.

There is actually an additional 100 or so page novella inside this book as well as Finishing Touches. I don't have the book handy but it had the word "Opera" "Panic" and possibly "Maniac" in the title. Whatever it was called I really didn't like it. The whole thing seemed like a poor excuse to throw in a whole bunch extremely hideous torture and rape scenes and it didn't make any sense at all. A dopey man stumbles into a modern day concentration camp where thousands of people are killed daily. He's led into it by a gorgeous (but of course) silky haired woman who gives him a lot of sex before subjecting him to the horrors of her life. It was disturbing and very odd and I could have done without reading it. I'd give it a 3 but won't mark down the entire book because of it.
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