In this, the last Lucy Ripken adventure that takes place in New York City, Lucy is hired by old friend Paul Wittgenstein to help him rewrite the script for an independent film he’s shooting in the East Village and on the Lower East side of New York City. Lucy quickly gets into the scriptwriting mode, while at the same time getting involved with the director Wittgenstein’s friends, family, cast, and crew, some of whom, including Paul Wittgenstein himself, are involved in some very kinky and ultimately dangerous sex games that take place in a couple of after-hours SMBD (sado masochism bondage domination) clubs in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Lucy explores and is unamused and more or less bored by this scene but willing to let it go—everybody’s got to get their freak on, she figures—while she does her scriptwriting work. How this work moves forward is a big part of the book, as Lucy struggles with the story she’s writing, and keeps pushing ahead.

However, when the producer of the movie, a rich kid from Greenwich, CT called Christopher Wadsworth, turns up dead, the plot thickens. As does, at the same time, the plot of the movie, and as the story in the movie and the story taking place in the book around the shooting of the movie progress in tandem, the characters, the plot, and the stories intermingle, creating a compelling mix of cinema and verite. I struggled with the back and forth of this, but I think in the end that it works, as the story within the story and the story itself lend each other enerrgy and intrigue.

In the end, Lucy persists in sorting out the mess, and does so, contending with some serious moral quandaries as well as truly creepy characters along the way.

The book and the movie are indivisible, and the movie inside the book could easily be made from what is here, in the book. At the same time, the book itself could easily be made into a movie as well, with the shooting of the movie within the movie as another part of the book. They are inseparable.

And, it must be mentioned, book and movie within create a wonderful tableau of old downtown New York. It’s another classic Ripken, with a soulful and irresistible Manhattan twist.

Lendle stats
  • 0 Lendlers own it
  • 0 Copies available
  • 0 Lends requested
  • 0 Lends fulfilled
  • 0 Lends outstanding
  • 0 Spots in line booked