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April 13, 2013

Review: Bloody Secrets by Jackie Trippier Holt

Series: Dirty Monsters 2
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 31, 2013
Publisher: Book Snuffler Publishing Company
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
"1st November. Venue: Bournemouth.

"I thought everything was going well. Despite their natural apprehension, the troupe has been performing spectacularly well – so much so that the Hallowe'en acts prompted a visit from one of our forefathers, Mr Harvey Burfoot. The veil between life and death is, after all, thinnest at Samhain.

"It was a heady evening! My guard down, I accidentally mentioned my plan, explaining how it would give Burfoot's Circus security and space to develop our skills. The idea was not completely disregarded, so I have high hopes.

"While I still have not discovered who is borrowing The History and presumably reading it, I'm certain I soon will. Also, the townies accused us of stealing their wallets. I've no idea if this is true. There was an unpleasant scene as we packed up to leave for Blandford Forum, diffused thanks to my taking charge, with help from Bridget's spells and The Boy's natural charm.

"I'm sorry to report that not sure how to hesitant to repeat not sure what happened after that but one of the performers has run away left us. She packed in the night and has apparently gone back to the Real World, knowing what the penalty is for desertion. 

"Harvey, if you're reading this, please don't hurt her."
Reading Dirty Monsters has my creative juices flowing, if you've noticed I've made little graphics for  my favorite book quotes from both Freaks Like Us and this installment, BLOODY SECRETS, instead of the usual blockquote we do. Like I said, I love the pomp and circumstance of the circus, it's the isolation and loneliness of the entire thing that gets me depressed. Obviously that's not the case as far as this series is concerned because I'm freakin' hooked!

BLOODY SECRETS immediately took off where Freaks Like Us ended. Violet ran away and naturally everyone is worried if she's OK or what happened to her since Harvey Burfoot, THE Burfoot and former Ringmaster, put a curse that they can't leave the troupe lest they die. Naturally emotions are running high because a lot of them love Violet and are concerned over her welfare plus she most certainly left a bloody mess, literally and figuratively. In fact maybe the book should be called BLOODY MESS instead of BLOODY SECRETS... Anyway... People started speculating and started pointing fingers as to why she left and who's fault it was. Hector, the tomcat, took most of the brunt and got a good beating from Vincent, The Saw Man, and Violet's father figure in the troupe. For the entire novel, Hector was talking like he's got a cockney accent or an hair-lip because Vincent really smashed his nose good. But the real reason lies with Henry, the damphir, who's being slowly eaten by his guilt but is too cowardly to own up to his epic f*ck up! I swear, I so wanted to strap Henry to a chair, drag him to a sunny beach, order pinacoladas, and toast to his slow demise under the glorious UVA/UVB rays from the Sun! EVIL!

BLOODY SECRETS is richer than Freaks Like Us in the sense that JTHolt is adding emotional and psychological layers to her characters. There's still magic and the whole mystique that surrounds Burfoot's Circus but it's slowly becoming character-centric. Which I love. Aside from Violet's love dilemma, Zacharias, midget and current Ringmaster, is in a conundrum. He wants to veer of Circus tradition and settle in one place but he's finding it hard to maintain leadership within the troupe. He's displaying self-doubt and his personal conversations with Harvey's ghost are mostly rhetorical but it's a good indication of what's about to take place and a possible future conflict as far as the fate of the troupe is concerned. Do they stay as is or do they try and be part of The Real World? That is the question.

My only regret is the stories are too short! The characters are so rich by themselves I want to know all their backstories. How they became "freaks", like was it a genetic mutation? A curse? Otherworldliness? How did they end up in the Circus? So many things yet to be revealed and told and I only wish JTHolt will write MORE stories about her Dirty Monsters! I like Violet's storyline but I'm more interested in Zack's story. He's brimming with tales and in my head he's Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister) which gets me even more excited!

I can't wait for volume 3, BLOODY SECRETS was pivotal and most definitely not a filler volume. The ending was a cliffhanger (JTHolt how could you?!). It's really Bloody and things are about to change and it all lies in Zack's leadership capabilities. He needs to unite his troupe because this "little" issue with Violet divided the group and consequently started a bloody mess of sorts. Not only that, it seems to me as if he himself is flailing and the troupe can sense that as well.

Gah! WHERE IS VOLUME THREE?!


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Jackie’s career has been varied: bar maid, fortune teller, market trader, public relations officer, teacher, newspaper and online journalist, copywriter and freelance writer of women’s erotica. Writing for fun has been a constant.

‘Annie, the Doll, its Thief and her Lover’ was her first novel. She is currently working on a series of novellas called ‘Dirty Monsters’; ‘Freaks Like Us’ and ‘Bloody Secrets’ are out now.

Want to be a Dirty Monster?







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