Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Billie by Terri Peterson (transgender thriller)

Where the first Strange Little Girls story was a dark story of dark deeds, Billie feels more triumphant - it is less a story of vengeance and more one of justice, with the triangle of Danni, Laura, and Fiona rounding out the darker emotions of Alice. While readers need not be familiar with their trilogy to appreciate this, knowing the whole story does further fuel anxiety and anticipation over their fates.

Terri Peterson builds on what was a daring, challenging thriller by expanding and enhancing the story, rather than just trying to repeat it. With Alice's multiple personalities already exposed, and her motivations made clear, the focus here moves from the question of 'why' to the question of 'how' . . . and that, you may be surprised to learn, is even more complex. Do not expect any simple narrative progression or character arcs here - there are betrayals, twists, and deeper reveals that will keep you guessing throughout.

While readers will find less of the kinky deviance explored in the first book on the page, its implications continue to resonate behind the scenes. Everything in this world has consequences - as it should - and sometimes we have to be patient to see justice served. For example, the relationship between Alice and her police officer boyfriend that seemed so convenient in the first book, and which I felt tarnished her a bit by taking advantage of someone's love, is altered here. It grows into something else before being completely transformed, with personal and professional boundaries crossed in such a way that the story's central themes really have a chance to shine.

The relationship between Danni, Laura, and Fiona is deepened and transformed here as well, with professional jealousy and resentment giving way to the passions of the moment. I really like what the story did with them, and where it allowed them to go, and as surprised as I was by the ending, I would not change a word. Billie is an entirely satisfying tale, one that will have readers on the edge of their seat. The moments of erotica here are still dark and edgy, but of a healing nature rather than a hurting one, and that makes all the difference.

'Terri' Peterson, was born August 19th, 1969, and spent what she referred to as 'a miserably failed experiment in tyranny' at a typical secondary school, where she was bullied relentlessly and made fun of. She left with no regrets, a handful of qualifications for a career in banking, and bitter memories of time spent being the object of ridicule by her peers. Being myopic, gauche, skinny and flat-chested, sporting a head of rich auburn hair, made her a daily target for abuse, which she escaped by becoming immersed in the fantasy world of writing short stories.

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