By Anne Tibbets
“… Michelle’s biography did not come out of thin air.”
Deep in the shadows of Hamburg, Germany, prostitute Michelle gets sucked into the underground scene of snuff movies. Looking for the baby sister of an old friend, her best customer, a policeman named Paul, refuses to help. After a brutal rape, Michelle swears vengeance—and to find the vanished girl. eXXXtrem by Svea Tornow is dark, twisted, and as real as the sunrise.
“I wanted to show many aspects of my city,” Tornow says. “The dark underbelly as well as the rich suburbs. More than that, I wanted to explore the topics of family, friends, and trust. Because sometimes you cannot have it all.”
The second novel in an ongoing series, eXXXtrem follows Michelle as she navigates living with her mother, whom she took in after suffering domestic violence, and her growing, but unwelcome feelings for Paul.
After her mother’s partner is found dead and the little sister of a friend goes missing, Michelle embarks on a solo adventure not for the faint of heart.
“There’s a scene where Michelle wants to find information at almost any price. Being a prostitute, she’s even willing to have sex in exchange. But, she makes a bad call and gets into a situation involving two men,” Tornow says. “The scene was supposed to be erotic, only in the end, Michelle doesn’t get the information she had bargained for.”
Published in German, Tornow cites Germanic authors as her best influences. “Zoe Beck, Doris Gercke, Simone Buchholz—she’s fantastic! I love Wolfgang Burger. Internationally, I’ll go with Alafair Burke (she gets better with every book, just as I hope to) and Elizabeth Haynes.”
“Mostly,” Tornow adds, “my books are influenced by my life lived, more than by books read. Michelle’s biography did not come out of thin air.”
Fans of the first installment will be pleased to hear Tornow is considering a third, and a possible forth addition to the series.
“If eXXXtrem is well received, I’ll write many more installments. I have the next two plotted and ready. Otherwise, I have a different story to tell, a domestic thriller with one political, and one psychological twist.”
To learn more about Svea, please visit her on Facebook.