Death of Claire is the story of a young journalist (named Claire, you might be unsurprised to learn) who is sent to interview egotistical philosopher Oliver Barnes. Claire has a secret, and once Oliver works this secret out, the stage is set for some dark sexual games and a slow downwards spiral into a kind of passion that inevitably leads to death. It’s no secret that Claire dies, but the mystery at the heart of the book is how she dies, and why.
Anyone looking for a book that’s like Fifty Shades of Grey would be advised to check out Death of Claire, although Death of Claire is a lot darker and contains some much stronger, more visceral sex scenes. I’ve read a lot of BDSM and erotica, but Death of Claire really twists the knife (almost literally at one point), laying bare the true sexual depravity and desperation of its two main characters.
I came close to making Death of Claire the first book I award 5 stars, but in the end I settled on 4.5 stars. Why? Well, because I felt I wanted a little more insight into the character of Oliver. Then again, perhaps that’s the whole point: he’s unknowable, and his depths are alluded to but never truly plumbed. There’s room here for a sequel, to get to know Oliver better, but for now Death of Claire is an excellent exploration of the (very) dark side of sexual desire.
Star rating for Death of Claire: 4½ stars.
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> Rating system: 5 stars (excellent); 4 stars (very good); 3 stars (good); 2 stars (fairly good); 1 star (bad); 0 stars (awful).
NOTE: We interviewed Amy Cross back in February 2012. This in no way coloured or affected this review, which was carried out by a different member of the Indie BookSpot team.