Bloodsong

Jill Neimark, Author Random House (NY) $20 (275p) ISBN 978-0-679-42005-7
Although its early chapters suggest chilling promise, Neimark's noir debut ultimately proves longer on style than substance. The author baits her hook with the opening sentence, in which narrator Lynn Hershey announces: ``I'm in love with a murderer.'' Kim, the murderer in question, is a hardbodied welder, escaping from a mysterious past in Puerto Rico, whom Lynn meets by placing a personal ad. Ever since her adored older brother ran away from home when she was 15, Lynn has preferred solitude and fierce independence, but she is fascinated by this reticent denizen of a Times Square hotel. Seven weeks into their relationship, Kim admits to killing a man, leaving the circumstances sufficiently hazy to both repulse and intrigue Lynn--and the reader. It eventually becomes apparent, however, that beneath some torrid sex and emotional posturing (``Suffering--I never knew it could be this voluptuous,'' Lynn gushes in one angst-ridden moment), there isn't much to the plot. Once Kim ceases to pose a physical threat, the novel seems less sinister than silly, with pretentious, overwrought dialogue and an attitude that calls to mind bad hardboiled detective fiction, complete with impossibly virile men and cloying femmes fatales. BOMC selection; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-0-517-16442-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-452-27296-5
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