Cruel Poetry

Vicki Hendricks, Author Serpent's Tail $14.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-85242-927-0
Renata-called Rennie by friends, lovers, and people who pay her for sex, which is to say just about everyone in Miami Beach-doesn't so much like living dangerously as she likes doing fun things that happen to be dangerous. One of those fun things is Richard, an English professor who's risking his marriage by continuing to see Rennie but just can't help himself. Her reckless allure has also captivated her colleague Francisco and her next door neighbor Julie, who eavesdrops on Rennie's exploits and struggles to turn them into the great American novel. The blood, lust and drama are vivid and visceral, but Hendricks is so determined to avoid trite lessons and happy endings that she fails to assemble any kind of ending at all, relying instead on entropy and disaster to bring her story stumbling to a halt. These exquisitely developed characters deserve better. As Hendricks refines her hallmark noir style, perhaps she'll get a better handle on which cliches are worth keeping.
Reviewed on: 04/30/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-9905365-2-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-8282-0
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