The Living Room of the Dead by Eric Stone
Bleak House Books, 2007

This is noir at its finest. Uncensored, raw and unpredictable. The fact that author, Eric Stone has lived and worked throughout Asia is apparent with lines like, “It’s drizzling the hot sour soup that squeezes out of the filthy tureen that a lot of the year passes for the sky over Hong Kong.” All the research or anecdotal information of place will never take the reader ‘there’ as lines like that do. I am really glad to read that this is the first Ray Sharp novel as I want to get inside this character’s head some more. An important note however; The Living Room of the Dead is based on real events. Once you know that, the scenes that make you squirm will make you squirm a lot longer. Not to say that he has not created a great book of fiction, but given that the story is based on the unforgiving sex slave trade in numerous parts of Russia and Asia, makes this an important piece. If you enjoyed reading Mo Hayder’s The Devil of Nanking, then you might know the kind of power a work of fiction can pack. Stone’s own words speak how this book made me feel. “It’s beautiful and I’m not afraid. The snapping of electricity above me, in the nearing distance sizzling out of the clouds, hissing in the air that pounds at me from all sides, everything’s juiced….It’s power that doesn’t take sides, that doesn’t give a shit about me…” Stone may be talking about the weather here but it is one of the pivotal metaphors for the subject matter of this outstanding novel. Read it, you will not forget it and like myself, it will leave you wanting more.

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Comment by Eva Batonne on September 29, 2008 at 2:45am
Ange, I love your look, you feel like somebody I would be close friends with. I especially liked your review of THE LIVING ROOM.

Would you like to review my book, RESURRECTION DIVA? If so, contact my editor, Liz, you'd like her too, at and she will be pleased to send you a review copy.

Best thoughts,
Eva Batonne

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