Title: Slashing Mona Lisa
Author: D.M. Barr
Killer body or body killer? When fat shaming backfires…
Most people are dying to lose a few pounds. Not so in Slashing Mona Lisa, where it’s the weight-loss advocates who are losing their lives.
Whenever Terry Mangel’s body acceptance revival meeting rolls into town, local diet execs and “fat shamers” turn up dead, often in grotesque, ironic ways. All single murders in small suburbs, no one’s noticed the pattern…until now.
Rookie journalist Camarin Torres is a crusader against discrimination, partially to assuage the guilt she feels over the suicide of her obese, bullied twin sister. She reluctantly accepts a job offered by handsome publisher Lyle Fletcher, a widower with a vendetta, who sees Torres as salvation for Trend, his fledgling fashion magazine. Torres, however, detests everything the publication stands for, and joins solely to transform its judgmental, objectifying content.
As an unexpected romance blossoms, the overconfident, justice-hungry reporter defies orders and infiltrates Mangel’s world—only to find herself in the crosshairs of a vigilante group targeting the sixty-billion-dollar diet industry. Unmasking the killer may save her life but shatter her heart: every clue seems to implicate Fletcher, her mercurial mentor and lover, as the group’s mastermind.
With a sassy, snarky voice and multi-cultural overtones, Slashing Mona Lisa explores body shaming and its victims: the disenfranchised who don’t conform to society’s arbitrary norms, and the lengths they will go to for love and acceptance.
Content Warning: contains some strong language, violence, and explicit sexual scenes
Very powerful idea behind this book, and I loved the way the author went about expressing it by having a strong lead character, Camarin. From the moment she was introduced to the story, I loved her. Her background was fascinating, and when she came into conflict, she was not afraid to speak her mind, and did what she wanted to do, even when other people tried to tell her differently. This story is studded with mystery and suspense with a powerful hook right at the beginning to draw readers in. The murders in the story take an interesting angle compared to other stories that I’ve read in a similar genre. Definitely worth the read!