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July 30 , 2008



Lonely, unfulfilled, and envious of her best friend who has moved to Italy, Claire Caviness heads out to the same old club one night but takes a right turn out of her usual routine and meets Finn Weston, a mysterious and disturbed medical student who lures her into a folie a deux - a shared madness that forces Claire to look at the things she's tried desperately to leave behind. When Claire's friend Lucy is found dead and Finn is implicated in the murder, Raoul Duras, a Delta Force operator with a penchant for rescuing prostitutes, offers a way out of the madness. In a raw, edgy journey from trauma to restoration, Claire examines her deepest fears: grief for her distant mother and gay father, the awakening of her conflicted sexuality, and the darkness that pulls her to the intrigue and danger of two very different - and dangerous - men.

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CRIME BOOK BEAT: Crime writers are generally like war correspondents, but Ms. Hinton doesn't require a flak jacket. Her writing is literate, evocative, and perceptive - even mesmerizing. Her mysteries aren't solved, they're dangled just ahead, just out of reach.

EIGHT CUTS GALLERY: I've come across some real gems on Kindle, and Billie Hinton's Claire-Obscure is one of the shiniest gems. What drew me to the book was the most primordial thing - the power of an image (and the beautiful title with its evocative double meaning), a cover that evokes the opening of Belle de Jour, and Renoir's painting Parapluies (my favourite in the whole world). I'm glad I was drawn because Billie Hinton is a wonderful writer, and Claire-Obscure a delightful, enigmatic masterpiece.


"claire-obscure is sophisticated, eerie, fascinating, literary. It has a spare, sexy Duras feel and a Donna Tartt-like magnetic quality."-Peggy Payne, author of Revelation and New York Times Notable Book Sister India

"In claire-obscure, Billie Hinton creates three amazing and mysterious characters, in a fresh voice that has echoes of Donna Tartt and Sylvia Plath. Couldn't wait to see how it turned out, hated for it to end."-Dale Edgerton, author of Goneaway Road

"Simply brilliant; a lyric dreamsong."-J.S. Kindrick, former Special Operations soldier and author of Spirit Horses

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