cover image GREEN GIRLS


Michael Kimball, . . Morrow, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-06-008737-1

Known for his idiosyncratic characters, erotic nuance and edgy plots, Kimball (Mouth to Mouth) stays true to form with his new fiction noir. An imposing bridge separating New Hampshire from Maine serves as the gothic centerpiece to this complex tale of murder, passion, jealousy and revenge. Jailed for assaulting wife Laura's psychiatrist lover, struggling author Jacob Winter is unexpectedly bailed out by Alix Callahan, a college classmate whom he hasn't seen for 15 years. She and her mysterious lover, July, operate an exotic gardening business, though it's immediately clear that all is not right between the two women. Soon Jacob and July are summoned to that imposing bridge by a frantic Alix; July shoots her and she falls to her death—or does she? Alix's body is never found and strange occurrences (not the least of which is someone else's murder) suggest she may still be alive. Meanwhile, July's husband, a sinister Colombian shaman, has escaped from a Florida prison and is making his way up the coast, looking for revenge and the drug money Alix and July stole from him. Estranged from Laura, Jacob foolishly (though he rarely shows good judgment throughout) accepts July's offer to stay with her, setting off a long, strange and possibly deadly seduction. Despite a promising start, the level of suspense is inconsistent and Kimball resorts to some hokey plot elements (psychic visions, poison frogs) in an effort to keep things interesting. Still, this diabolic epic is well calculated to keep readers who can suspend disbelief turning the pages. Agent, Howard Morhaim. Northeast regional author tour. (Dec. 1)