Exposure is an interesting, gritty thriller that tells the life story of a porn star convicted of murder. The story begins with Leanne in prison, and then flashes back to different stages in her life as she recounts her story to the prison psychiatrist. I really enjoyed Exposure and was kept guessing what the truth was right up to the last minute.
Our protagonist is Leanne, a young woman who started glamour modelling with the intention of taking one off pictures that would help her pay off the debt her ex boyfriend has left her with. However, one thing leads to another, and Leanne eventually begins working in porn, and takes on the alter ego Kitty Sweet. She gets swept up with the financial rewards and glamourous lifestyle her new career brings, and doesn’t know when or how to draw the line between Leanne and Kitty. I found Leanne likeable, and I was rooting for her throughout the book. She seemed very naive and innocent, and completely out of her depth. The story switches between present and past tense as Leanne tells her story, which built tension and kept me interested. The differences between present and past day Leanne were interesting, as whilst past day Leanne was very innocent, she seemed a lot more savvy in the present. The differences kept me wondering just how reliable a narrator she was being, and kept me on the edge of my seat.
The book presents a very stark and harsh view of the adult film industry, which was difficult to read at times. There are some graphic language and scenes throughout the book, and some upsetting chapters, so Exposure is definitely not a book for younger readers. It was very well written though, and it never felt like the author was being exploitative or judgemental towards Leanne or the other actors.
I do wish the ending had been more conclusive though as I’m not a big fan of open ended books that let you draw your own conclusions, I’d rather know exactly how the author thinks the story ended. That’s not to say that the ending isn’t satisfying, we do get answers, I would have just personally preferred more information.
If you enjoy a good thriller I’d recommend you check out Exposure. The setting made it stand out from the sometimes repetitive books typically in the genre, and made it an enjoyable read.