The Pale White, by Chad Lutzke
The story is told by Stacia, a seventeen-year-old girl held captive by a degenerate named Doc. Beautiful to the eye, his house is like a Victorian mansion, but something sinister lurks behind closed doors- the sex trafficking of young girls.
She is not alone.
There is nine-year-old Kammie, who loves plants and draws flowers on everything. Since the horrible night that Doc took her innocence, she has never spoken a word.
The toughest of all three of them is Alex. She dresses in leather, fishnets, and short black skirts, giving her a goth-punk appearance. She believes she is a vampire and avoids light, even when it means her freedom.
As punishment, Doc starves them. This last time it was because Alex bit a client. She decides that it is time to follow through with their plan, which will bring them the freedom that they have wanted for so long.
When they can finally leave their prison, the girls realize that they will no longer be together. So, instead, they make sandwiches as they try to obtain a sense of normalcy. It is quickly taken from them when there is a knock at the door.
Flashbacks of previous traumatic events reveal clues as to why they behave the way they do. Alex’s viciousness is justified, and the reader can’t help but feel empathy towards the girls for the abuse they endured.
My favourite character is Stacia. She is compassionate, despite the horrible things she has been through. Before she was taken, she lived with an alcoholic mother and her lowlife boyfriend, and she questions whether she should go home or start a new life elsewhere.
I like how the author used description to create a twisted atmosphere and induce emotion, but more detail throughout the story would have made it more powerful. The subject matter of the book makes it difficult to read in places as it deals with rape, violence, and psychological torture.
The ending came as a shock. I thought it was abrupt and had some unresolved issues. I am hoping a sequel will follow.
If you are a fan of dark tales with a lot of twists and turns, The Pale White is a book that you will want to crack open on a cold, wintery night.
Chad Lutzke is the author of numerous books including The Same Deep Water as You, Wallflower, and Skullface Boy. He has written for various magazines such as Cemetery Dance, Rue Morgue, and Scream, and he has contributed articles, reviews, and artwork to the music and film scene. He lives in Battle Creek, Michigan with his wife and children.
Marie RavenSoul is a freelance writer and is the owner of the website In Satan’s Honour- Satanism and Demon Worship. She is the author of ‘At Satan’s Altar- A Collection of Prayers, Chants, Affirmations, Hymns, and Rituals.’
She is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. Her other interests include painting, reading, photography, haunted dolls, The Tarot, and music.