An explosive, erotic novel about two sisters, each of whom embarks upon a voyage into the heart of evil and a game with a seductive man who knows no rules or limits. Only one returns.
Successful, attractive, and in control, Nora seemed so different from her shy, terribly vulnerable younger sister. Grieving for Franny, Nora reads her diary and is stunned when it reveals a secret sadomasochistic affair with a mysterious professor known only as M. Nora vows to seek justice for the sister she never really knew and undertakes a daring scheme to seduce this lethal and manipulative man in the hope of uncovering information about the murder. Instead, she finds herself in thrall to his bizarre sexual magnetism, trapped in a passion so dark and perverse, and yet so compelling, that she is willing to risk her life. And she is in danger, although it may be from someone much closer to her than M., someone so close she might not see it until it is too late.
With an ending as startling as it is haunting, Topping From Below is unlike any novel you're ever read. Ever.
The title of this devilishly pornographic--albeit literate--novel is taken from the argot of sadomasochism and refers to a rebellious dynamic in which the dominant partner (the ``top'') is subtly manipulated by the submissive partner (the ``bottom''). After her young sister, Franny, is found murdered--bound, gagged and mutilated--Nora Tibbs, a journalist for the Sacramento Bee, discovers in Franny's computer a diary that details her brief affair with ``M.," an arrogant music professor in his late 40s. Cruelly exploiting the overweight, love-starved woman, M. forced Franny to submit to a humiliating gamut of outre sexual practices. Convinced that M. is Franny's murderer, Nora sets out to prove his guilt by pretending to submit to his depraved aberrations. But, to her astonishment, she discovers a dark, pagan side of herself when M. enthralls her with intense, if perilous, sexual pleasure. Graphic descriptions of exotic sexual practices (bondage and discipline, sadomasochism, bestiality, etc.) accumulate, counterpointed by Nora's sweetly romantic relationship with a fellow reporter. The suspense, a bit attenuated by thin secondary characters, also is muted by artless foreshadowing, but the conclusion is satisfying in a savage sort of way and Nora's plunge ``down, all the way down'' under M.'s manipulations will keep most readers gripped even as they're aware that Reese's shameless pandering is manipulating them in turn. Comparison to Story of O is well earned. 100,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.
Topping from below
Good book. Worth the read.
Wow!!! Bought book yesterday, read it all night, and just finished it. I could not put it down. Very haunting and chilling.