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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Real Easy

Real Easy

A Novel

Marie Rutkoski

Henry Holt and Co.

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A compulsive, tenacious, and unexpectedly hopeful thriller set in a midwestern strip club, told by New York Times bestselling author Marie Rutkoski in the spirit of Gillian Flynn and Tana French

It’s 1999, and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to taking anyone under her wing—after all, between her disapproving boyfriend and his daughter, who may as well be her own child, she has enough to worry about. But when Samantha overrides her better judgment to drive a new dancer home, they are run off the road. The police arrive at the scene of the accident—but find only one body.

Georgia, another dancer, is drawn into the investigation as she tries to assist Holly, a Harvard-educated detective with a complicated story of her own. As the point of view shifts from dancers and detectives to club patrons and children, the women round up a list of suspects, all the while grappling with their understandings of loss and love.

Drawing on her personal experiences as well as interviews with police, Rutkoski immerses us in a subculture that is all too often reduced to cliché. Gripping, deeply feminist, and character-driven, Real Easy spellbinds us and gets to the heart of this timeless question: How do women live out their lives knowing that men can hurt them?

Praise for Real Easy

“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

“This book blew me away. Real Easy is an electric thrill ride that takes a hard look at the high price women pay for men’s desire. Rutkoski renders her characters with exquisite compassion and detail, even as the book accelerates toward an unforgettable conclusion. Gritty, glittery, and pulsing with life.”
Sara Sligar, author of Take Me Apart

“With a fully-realized world, a compelling mystery, fascinating characters, and beautiful prose, Marie Rutkoski’s REAL EASY will capture readers and stay in their minds forever. It is absolutely unputdownable.”
Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost

“Bold, compelling, brutal and brilliant. On the surface Real Easy is the kind of gritty, gripping mystery I just adore, yet it’s also full of heart and hope and the most endearing characters.”
—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of… More…

“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

“This book blew me away. Real Easy is an electric thrill ride that takes a hard look at the high price women pay for men’s desire. Rutkoski renders her characters with exquisite compassion and detail, even as the book accelerates toward an unforgettable conclusion. Gritty, glittery, and pulsing with life.”
Sara Sligar, author of Take Me Apart

“With a fully-realized world, a compelling mystery, fascinating characters, and beautiful prose, Marie Rutkoski’s REAL EASY will capture readers and stay in their minds forever. It is absolutely unputdownable.”
Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost

“Bold, compelling, brutal and brilliant. On the surface Real Easy is the kind of gritty, gripping mystery I just adore, yet it’s also full of heart and hope and the most endearing characters.”
—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

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Reviews from Goodreads

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