Pink introduces us to Theo as she attends SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) for the first time. Theo has a problem–and it’s far worse than what the reader might first imagine–but it soon becomes clear she’s uninterested in finding a solution. She’s not there for help. She’s there on the prowl.
The usual therapist who hosts these meetings isn’t available, but Dr. Hooper is there to help everyone through the session. As Theo’s initial meeting of SAA becomes progressively more bizarre and surreal, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of unease, knowing that there’s more to the story and that we’re probably not going to like what awaits us.
It’s only after Theo brings one of the other sex addicts home to her apartment that we get the first glimpse of just how dark and perverse Theo’s hunger happens to be. With a brief glimpse of a jar and bloody chains, we join Casey in feeling a sense of disorientation and panic as we realize there’s something far worse than sex addiction going on.
By the time it’s all over–and the story comes to a close–we’re forced to examine the definition of murder and what it means to kill someone. Shupeck paints us an excruciatingly real portrait of someone who doesn’t care who she hurts, as long as she gets what she wants. What she wants is to live the adage, “misery loves company.”
Anyone who has read the previous five installments in the FSBIH series will recognize that Hooper tends to give people a choice, and it’s the very choice they make that leads them into his power. This is no different. Theo is given a choice, more clearly than most of Hooper’s “victims” have gotten…and Theo does indeed make her choice with wide-open eyes.
This one might be the worst of the installments to read so far, for reasons that will be clear to anyone upon arriving at the end. The graphic, grotesque imagery is only half of the problem. It’s the depravity and monstrous nature of Theo herself that hits the hardest.
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