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Ecstasy by Beth Saulnier
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Ecstasy (edition 2003)

by Beth Saulnier

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281570,759 (3.25)None
Member:SarahAddisonAllen
Title:Ecstasy
Authors:Beth Saulnier
Info:Mysterious Press (2003), Hardcover, 384 pages
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Ecstasy by Beth Saulnier

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This is the first book that I picked up by Beth Saulnier.
I was supposed to go to Bonnaroo in 2003 but decided to go to Grad School instead. I was so bummed out about missing the show that I went to the library and typed "Music Festival" into the bib search catalog. (I'm such a nerd.) Lo and behold, this book popped up. I think only three books had "Music Festival" as a subject heading. I took it off the shelf and that was that. I assigned this book to my genre fiction class to read, and for the most part, they enjoyed it. I thought it would be a welcome change from all of the literary fiction we'd been reading.

Alex Bernier is such an awesome character. She's the kind of character that, if she truly existed, I would want to hang out with. She's witty and funny and gets into stupid situations and can hold her own with a bunch of machismo guys and she can drink them under the table. She lives in a small college town (a thinly veiled Ithaca) that reminds me of my good old days at Cornell (the other one). She writes for the paper and is kind of a parasite - but she gets all wound up in crazy murder mysteries that usually involve the deaths of her friends and acquaintances. And she usually saves the day.

In Ecstasy, Alex is duped into covering the Melting Rock Music Festival. It seemed pretty similar to Bonnaroo - music, bad food, camping out, lots of folks being crazy and lots of free lovin'. Although this sounds great to me, it's Alex's worst nightmare. She meets a group of some high school seniors, does a story on them, and then they start dying off after taking some bad acid in the night.

Alex bumps heads with the town cops (one of whom she's dating), the College Faculty, the Professors' Wives (a particularly nasty group of women, I should say) environmental terrorists, the local branch of the mafia, the New York Times, and fluffy newagers that read the wind and magically predict the future. It's just a great book. The story might not completely hold water, but if you are able to suspend reality and just enjoy a book, this is a great light summer read. It is the fifth of the five Alex Bernier mysteries. I've read them in exact opposite order, and I don't think it made that much of a difference. If I could do it again, though, I'd start at the beginning. ( )
  anterastilis | Feb 24, 2009 |
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"She's smart and engaging, tough and sexy, as hot for a good story as she is for her hunky cop boyfriend. Now irreverent reporter Alex Bernier is back on the scene in Gabriel, New York, at a cutting-edge music festival where casual sex and designer drugs rule - and cold-blooded murder is the ultimate trip." "Sandbagged into covering the legendary Melting Rock Music Festival, Alex isn't exactly thrilled. Four days of no boyfriend, way too many home-brew drugs floating around, and majorly loud bands aren't her idea of a good time - and neither is sleeping in a tent and sending on-line dispatches from the grungy front. Yet when several revelers begin dying from some bad acid, Alex begins to suspect there's something sinister going down beneath the festival's laid-back atmosphere." "With her old nemesis, a savvy New York Times reporter, out to scoop her, Alex starts uncovering a galaxy of less-than-peace-and-love-inclined suspects. Among them: a clique of local teens hiding a dangerous secret; a troubled sheriff compromised in his duties; a town council president who's ruthless in her pursuit of civic progress; and the powers-that-be behind a deep-water cooling project. Soon forced to go outside the law to unearth a lethal conspiracy, Alex must confront a remorseless killer - one who won't say no to showing one persistent reporter the final, deadliest high of all."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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