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The Base Notes PDF Details
|Name||The Base Notes|
|Author||Lara Elena Donnely|
|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
|Format||PDF / Epub|
The Base Notes PDF Summary
A lasting impression is worth killing for.
In New York City everybody needs a side hustle, and perfumer Vic Fowler has developed a delicate art that has proved to be very lucrative: creating bespoke scents that evoke immersive memories—memories that, for Vic’s clients, are worth killing for.
But the city is expensive, and these days even artisanal murder doesn’t pay the bills. When Joseph Eisner, a former client with deep pockets, offers Vic an opportunity to expand the enterprise, the money is too good to turn down. But the job is too intricate—and too dangerous—to attempt alone.
Manipulating fellow struggling artists into acting as accomplices is easy. Like Vic, they too are on the verge of burnout and bankruptcy. But as relationships become more complicated, Vic’s careful plans start to unravel.
Hounded by guilt and a tenacious private investigator, Vic grows increasingly desperate to complete Eisner’s commission. Is there anyone—friends, lovers, coconspirators—that Vic won’t sacrifice for art?
The book is written from the view point of the protagonist and on the whole is very engaging. There were a few things that took me a while to click with though.
First, the chapters tend to start with a description of a perfume – not knowing anything about perfumes and how they are created and what the various terms mean, this lost me initially. Given that the protagonist makes perfumes, there would have been scope to explain more about what they mean and the role.
Perhaps this did come (later on), but it could have been helpful to have it near the start. But, in the end, my lack of understanding didn’t matter as I enjoyed the familiarity it brought and how it got my mind thinking about what would be happening in that chapter.
Second, I was glad that I was reading the Kindle version as there seemed to be a word on almost every page – at least in the first half of the book – where I needed to check what it meant. I’m not sure why this was. Perhaps it was the nature of some of the subject matter. Perhaps it’s a difference between British and American English.
Perhaps it’s another case (I blame “Silence of the Lambs” for this trend) where certain types of criminals have to be portrayed, in some way, as being above ordinary intelligence. Whatever the reason, it was a distraction – but only a minor one thanks to the in-built dictionary.
Although many of the chapters are very long, I found the style engaging. There are some breaks in chapters – though it’s not always clear why the break was needed.
But, as engaging as the book was and how I felt I was getting through the story, I was surprised how long it took to finish it in the end. The reason, in my view, is that the book was longer than it needed to be. The last quarter or so, just seemed to go too far. It could have stopped sooner. I would even have been happier with a sequel than the last part of the book.
I have written elsewhere about the importance of having “Pillars of Truth” in books/films and how these help in making the unbelievable believable – or at least getting you to a point where you don’t care about the unbelievable elements.
This book does have “pillars of truth”, but by the last quarter, the pillars had collapsed for me. Some reviewers have said the last part felt rushed. I see that. But I think it’s more that the book just tried to do too much. Less would have been more.
A couple of lines really hit home in relation to my work on symbolism and also my own novel writing, and, indeed, my research writing, particularly as I do more autoethnographic work,
About The Author: Lara Elena Donnely
Lara Elena Donnelly is the author of the Nebula, Lambda, and Locus-nominated trilogy The Amberlough Dossier, as well as short fiction and poetry appearing in venues including Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Nightmare, and Uncanny.
Lara has taught in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College, as well as the Catapult Workshop in New York. She is a graduate of the Clarion and Alpha writers’ workshops, and has served as on-site staff at the latter, mentoring amazing teens who will someday take over the world of SFF.
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Lara Elena Donnely is the author of “The Base Notes” book.
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