by Kirstin Innes


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A “thoughtful, bruising, poignant, and poetic” (Ian Rankin) debut in which a woman’s search for her missing sister leads her into the world of contemporary sex work.

Rona Leonard was only twenty-years-old when she walked out of her sister Fiona’s flat and disappeared.

Six years later—worn down by a tedious job, childcare, and an aching absence in her life—Fiona’s mundane existence is blown apart by the revelation that Rona had been working as a prostitute before she vanished. Driven to discover the truth, Fiona embarks on an obsessive quest to investigate the sex industry that claimed her sister. However, as she is drawn into this complex world, Fiona finds herself seduced by the power it offers women in a society determined to see them only as victims.

In bold, unflinching prose, Fishnet offers a clear-eyed look at the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity and challenging assumptions about power, vulnerability, and choice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982116156
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 587,650
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Kirstin Innes is an award-winning writer, journalist and arts worker living in the west of Scotland. She founded the Glasgow literary salon Words Per Minute, and has had short stories published in a number of anthologies and commissioned by BBC Radio 4. Kirstin has won the Allen Wright Award for Excellence in Arts Journalism twice.

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Fishnet 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This book was given a positive review, that it richly deserves. Sex workers work hard for a living. Their stories have been transmitted through the novel. Excellent read
kellyannp 4 months ago
I was pleasantly surprised at the start of this novel to discover that the writing was natural and didn’t make me aware the entire time that I was reading an ARC. The story starts out promising enough - Fiona, a woman static in her own life, learns that her missing sister worked as a prostitute before abandoning her baby and disappearing into thin air. As it went along, however, it went a bit off the rails for me. Fiona becomes obsessed with prostitution and sex workers to the point that she, a single mother, puts her own livelihood at risk. Fast forward to the end **spoiler alert** to find Fiona is now a sex worker herself, and just as happy as can be. I had a hard time buying it. At times, I felt the author was reeeaally writing to convince us that prostitution is a choice and sex workers are just like you and me, to the point I was questioning whether I was reading a novel or a dissertation. All in all, not bad but also not a book I would tell anyone they HAVE to read. Thank you, Netgalley, for this ARC of Fishnet. This opinion is all my own.
Alfoster 4 months ago
I had no idea what I was getting into reading this book as I hadn't read any reviews. But I was more than pleasantly surprised that it included so much content beyond the storyline. Fiona is searching for her sister, Rona who disappeared six years ago and was apparently working as a prostitute. Fiona is raising Rona's daughter as her own and struggles to balance work and a social life being a single mother. But finding her sister becomes a priority, and in searching she meets several young women involved in the sex trade business. This is where we learn just who these women are and the various reasons they chose this field. It's eye-opening to say the least as we realize most do not feel trapped or insecure; they are articulate and intelligent, viewing prostitution as a valid choice over which they have complete control. It's clear a lot of research went into this debut and I enjoyed both the plot and the information gleaned from this novel! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
a_girl_who_loves_to_read 4 months ago
This was a different type of book for me. It was very informative. I did have trouble with how the author broke it up but once I figured it out it was fine. You get to get inside the head of those who are escorts and see how they are treated by others. I was wanting more about the runaway sister but the book was from the oldest sister's point of view. Overall the book is well written.
dlvandruff 4 months ago
Fiona and Rona are sisters. Fiona is quiet and kind of shy. Rona is loud, boisterous and friendly. Like sisters they have their ups and downs typical sibling rivalry. The last time Fiona sees Rona is when Rona drops a small bundle at her house and disappears. Rona has left her daughter to be raised by Fiona. Rona has been missing for years, her parents want to petition that she is dead. Fiona goes on a trip of discovery. She discovers that Rona was in the sex trade. A paid escort. As she goes through the paths of prostitution, Fiona discovers that not everyone was forced into the sex trade. Many choose to be there. They make more money than at some jobs, and they can pick their hours. This is especially important when raising children. Very well written, an in depth look into the myths of prostitution and the people who work in that industry.
RidgewayGirl 4 months ago
I like noir, the grittier the better and with this book I got that in spades. Fiona's sister Rona disappeared from her life, devastating her family who did all they could to find her. Six years after her disappearance, Fiona ends up in the Scottish town she disappeared from and this time, without her parents, she gets more information from her sister's old flatmate, who tells her that she kicked Rona out for working as a prostitute and bringing clients back to the flat. This information sends Fiona into turmoil, she was already not that much fun to be around, but now she alienates her last friends. She is also given a new avenue to search for her sister, a search which consumes her. This novel reminded me of both The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh and Garnethill by Denise Mina. There's a depth to the characters that isn't always present in noir, where the story often takes precedence over character development. Fiona is both off-putting and wholly sympathetic, as she works through her complicated emotions for her sister. The novel also follows Rona to a lesser degree, and while this novel has an agenda (as made clear in the author's afterword), it doesn't overwhelm the story. Innes isn't preaching, just writing about an issue she cares about and which I knew very little about. This is an outstanding Scottish noir and I'm glad to have discovered this author.
CLynnT 4 months ago
Fiona doesn’t mind raising her sister’s child; in fact, she loves and protects her as much if not more than if she were her very own. What Fiona is troubled by is the six-year silence that followed Rona’s abandonment of her child. This concerns Fiona deeply, to the point she begins digging and taking risks in order to follow her sister’s last known footsteps. Fiona learns that Rona had become a call girl, an escort, a prostitute before she became pregnant. Stunned at first, and a bit horrified, Fiona begins shadow-following numerous escorts until she finally convinces one to trust her enough to meet. What follows is an eye-opening description of the profession of escort; the strengths and founded reasons women choose that field of employment. Breaking the stigmas and common first assumptions of the general population, Kirstin Innes gives a face and a heart to the women who work in the sex industry. Based on studies and interviews with real people, Ms. Innes gives the reader a much-needed eye-opening experience; forcing us to step out of our comfort zone and accept the well-established and justified trade of women who choose to support their family and livelihoods by being an escort. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks so much to Gallery / Pocket Books and NetGalley for making it available.)
MKF 5 months ago
Divided into six sections, and told in different timelines and povs (including blog posts) , this is as much about exposing the conditions for sex workers in Edinburgh as it is about a woman's hunt to find out what happened to her sister. Fiona's sister Rona went missing at the age of twenty. Six years later, Fiona (finally) decides to find out what happened to her. She tumbles down the rabbit hole of the sex industry. There's some graphic language and scenes, some hard to read pieces, and some interesting perspective. It's certainly enlightening. I didn't find a great deal of emotion from Fiona but perhaps detachment is better in these circumstances. Thanks to net galley for the ARC and the chance to read a novel which received acclaim when it was originally published in the UK.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
It’s been six years since Fiona Leonard’s younger sister Rona arrived at her flat with her new baby daughter and then left leaving her child behind. No-one has seen or heard from her since and Fiona has been left bringing up her niece on her own as if she is her own child. When the company she works for is involved in the demolition of an area of Edinburgh where prostitutes work from they start to kick up a fuss and protest outside her work. Having just discovered that her sister was working as a prostitute before she went missing, Fiona sets out on a course to befriend the girls and hopefully locate her sister. Fishnet is an eye-opening book set in the world of prostitution surrounded by a story of love and devotion of one woman’s determination to find her little sister. The book is split into six sections as well as the opening and ending chapters labelled ‘Past’ and ‘Future’. The main section is called ‘Present’. It took some getting used to at first the way the book was written, especially seen as the opening scene was written in the second person, a style of writing I will admit I really don’t like and I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of the book. However, the rest of the book (barring the last chapter) was written in the third person. Each section is also made up of alternating chapters, so section one alternates between ‘Village’ and ‘City’, section two ‘Back’ and ‘Forth’ and so on. It’s not a style I’ve come across before, but it really works to bring you in closer to the storyline, backstory and the characters. As well as the chapters there are also blog posts from a sex-worker and messages from punters too. As I have said the book is eye-opening and not for the easily offended of those that don’t want to read about what the women in the book are paid to do as there are a few graphic scenes, but all in keeping with plot and I feel that they are needed to make the book feel authentic. Fiona is a woman that comes across very mixed up. Her sister disappears without a trace, she has to bring up her niece and play mummy, which she is doing alone. Her parents don’t want to talk about their missing daughter, so she has no-one to turn to. She hates her job, her friends don’t understand her and being around the sex workers is showing her how strong and tough these women can be and she starts to look up to them and sees them as her ‘friends’, people she can turn to. I am astounded at how easy to read it really was and how much I found myself engrossed within the pages. You can really tell how much passion and also research went into writing this book, it is exceptionally well-written. This is a rich and sensuous story that needed to be told and I’m so fortunate that I got the chance to review it.