Real Easy: Book summary and reviews of Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski

Real Easy

A Novel

by Marie Rutkoski

Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski X
Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski
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  • Published Jan 2022
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Bringing to mind Gillian Flynn and Tana French but completely unique, Marie Rutkoski's Real Easy is a compulsive, tenacious, and unexpectedly hopeful thriller.

It's 1999 and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She's not used to mixing work and friendship―after all, between her jealous boyfriend and his young daughter, she has enough on her plate. But the newest dancer is so clueless that Samantha feels compelled to help her learn the hustle and drama of the club: how to sweet-talk the boss, fit in with the other women, and make good money. One night, when the new girl needs a ride home, Samantha agrees to drive: a simple decision that turns deadly.

Georgia, another dancer drawn into the ensuing murder and missing person investigation, gathers information for Holly, a grieving detective determined to solve the case. Georgia just wants to help, but her involvement makes her a target. As Holly and Georgia round up their suspects, the story's point of view shifts between dancers, detectives, children, club patrons―and the killer.

Drawing on her experience as a former dancer, Marie Rutkoski immerses us in the captivating world of the club, which comes alive with complicated people trying their best to protect themselves and those they love. Character-driven and masterfully plotted, Real Easy gets to the heart of the timeless question: How do women live their lives knowing that men can hurt them?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"YA and children's author Rutkoski makes her adult debut with a haunting crime novel...[she] uses the familiar plot of a police search for a killer targeting women to paint moving portraits of desperate lives on both sides of the law. She's especially good at making the strippers more than clichés. Fans of psychologically rich thrillers will hope for more from Rutkoski." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Rutkoski's writing is lyrical, offering quiet metaphors and imagery despite some pointedly crude language, primarily directed at the dancers by men at the club. The language disparity and the multiple perspectives serve to emphasize a larger point: that even in ugliness, loss, and tragedy, there is humanity...Vulnerable yet steely, this thriller rises above the rest." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Rutkoski is that rare gem: a writer whose prose is as splendid as her plotting. The result is a taut thriller with the potency of a poem, a propulsive story at once brutal, elegant, and impossible to put down." - V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

"Very possibly the best crime fiction book since Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, Real Easy is turn-your-phone-off-and-cancel-all-your-meetings gripping. But it is also so much more than that: every character is instantly alive and recognizable the moment they appear on the page; the writing is sustainedly beautiful and intelligent, at times lyrical, at others, sassy and crackling; and the psychological underpinnings are unerring, resonant, utterly convincing. This book is a winner, whichever way you turn it." - Neel Mukherjee, Booker-finalist author of The Lives of Others and A State of Freedom

"With gorgeous prose, well-drawn characters, and crackling suspense, Real Easy is an unforgettable thriller that stuck with me long after the last page. Beneath the drum-tight plot is a brilliant examination of femininity, safety, and the roles women play. I couldn't put it down." - Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here

This information about Real Easy was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Marie Rutkoski Author Biography

Photo: Tobias Everke

Marie Rutkoski is a New York Times bestselling author of several novels for children and young adults. She grew up in Illinois as the oldest of four children, and has lived in Moscow, Prague, and Paris.

She holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Harvard University, and is now a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Shakespeare, children's literature, and fiction writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and two cats, Cloud and Firefly.

Link to Marie Rutkoski's Website

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