It’s my turn on the BlogTour Wolf Tones by J.J. Marsh.
About the Author
As an English teacher, actor, director and cultural trainer, I’ve lived and worked all over Europe. Now I’m a full-time author, publisher and audiobook narrator. My crime novels in the Beatrice Stubbs Series have become international bestsellers.
Psychological dramas Odd Numbers (shortlisted for the 2021 Bookbrunch Selfies Prize) and Wolf Tones dig deep into the world of emotional dependence. The Run and Hide Thrillers chase a hunted woman around the world.
About the book
You escaped the past. Here comes the present. Fifteen years ago, Rolf was destined for the gutter. His luck has changed. Now a cellist with the Salzburg City Orchestra, he has his dream job and dizzying prospects. All because of her. Smart, sexy, well connected and crazy about him, Leonor is his fantasy woman. She made him and he’ll never forget it. Neither will she.
She chooses Rolf’s diet, his friends, his decisions and career path. She knows best. When does a champion turn controller?
While he submits to domination at home, he struggles at work. The maestro is determined to break down and rebuild his new cellist. Clash after clash shatter Rolf’s confidence until he doubts everything about himself. Then a rumour reaches his ear. Has he misjudged his new friends? Is something more sinister pulling the orchestra’s strings?
Regardless of the drama behind the scenes, the show must go on. It’s the only way to escape his past. A classic artist, Rolf presents the best side of himself, hiding the pain of imperfection. A strategy with devastating results.
Rolf is about to embark upon a dream come true when he manages to get a position with the Salzburg City Orchestra. He relocates to Salzburg with his strongest supporter and his lover, Leonor. His confidence takes a beating when he finds it difficult to adjust and little does he know that is just the beginning of his problems.
In general it left me feeling as if there were areas left to be explored and some potential holes to fill in. How did the two of them meet, what are their backstories, has one been drawn to the other for a specific reason? Why does Leonor seem so invested in Rolf’s life and success – to the point of obsessive even?
The sexual element seemed to just be tossed in for the sake of it – I felt as if it came out of blue. Saying that there was definitely an undertone of lack of consent and a convenient forgetting of safe word, ergo physical and sexual abuse hidden under the category of sexual exploration. In general Rolf appears to be an insecure man who likes to dominate, and yet somehow as the story progresses the lines between victim and perpetrator start to get blurry.
Some of the questions help to form an idea of what is simmering at the core of their relationship, whilst on the outside everything would seem to appear very normal for a couple in love and interested in each other. It wasn’t particularly clear where certain boundaries were crossed by either one or who is guilty of the most malignant attitude – however there is a clear winner towards the end.
It’s a piece that could do with a polish, more clarity and more depth. There were plenty of good ideas and subplots the author dipped into though.