Sunday, July 8, 2007

Just Read: "Cruel Poetry" by Vicki Hendricks

Just Read: Cruel Poetry by Vicki Hendricks, 2007, 9781852429270.

Pretty decent with lots of sex. Recommended by Bill Crider. Crider says "Jump!" and I say "How high?"

Set in Miiami's South Beach and focusing on three characters: hooker Renata (Rennie), would-be-writer Julia (Jules), and literature professor Richard (Dick). Everyone falls in love with sultry and gorgeous Rennie, including her client Dick and her neighbor Jules. Rennie lives in a ratty hotel on the beach and entertains clients in her room and on out-calls. Jules moved to Miami in an attempt to isolate herself and write a novel. She falls for Jules after listening to her through the wall and getting to know her. Professor Dick is infatuated with Rennie and hoping to throw away a good life with his wife and two boys to 'rescue' Rennie from her life.

Rennie doesn't want to be rescued. She enjoys her sex work, enjoys her sort-of boyfriend - and fellow hooker - Francisco, and enjoys living on the beach.

I though this would be more of a straightforward noir novel with more action. There is violence, including three murders, but the focus is on the relationships of the three main characters and the setting of Miami. Just as much of the violence is relayed to the characters in conversation, and without the detail most other authors would go into. That was a neat change, actually. Hendricks was writing from each characters' point of view and adding more people would have been messy to read. Well done by Hendricks but I do prefer novels with more plot for the characters to live within.

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