Synopses & Reviews
“I loved this book. It’s a private ticket into a secret world of desire and sex and the raw edge between them . . . I read it with the fever of the addicted.”—Michael Connelly
“I never miss a book by Vicki Hendricks. No one on the current scene is writing super-charged, erotic, real noir novels like these.”—George P. Pelecanos
Renata is young, beautiful, and has sex for money and kicks. Few are immune to her intoxicating allure—even her pet Burmese python, Pepe, seems captive to her charm. Richard is one of her clients, a poetry professor with a wife and two sons, whose erotic fascination with Rennie is threatening his home and job.
Meanwhile, Julie, a shy wannabe novelist, spies on Rennie from her room next door in between bouts of frustrated writing. Both would do anything to save Rennie from her dangerous occupation and become her one true love.
Set in Miami’s gaudy vacationland and the haunting atmosphere of the Everglades, Cruel Poetry is a gripping story of fatal attraction that captures the Florida behind the postcards. As the lives of Richard and Julie unravel amidst drugs and murder, Hendricks amps the adrenaline jolts and sweeps us to a bittersweet climax.
Vicki Hendricks lives in Hollywood, Florida, where she teaches English and creative writing. A fan of dangerous sports, she has completed 550 skydives, learned to dog sled in Finland, and has been birding in the jungles of Costa Rica.
"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 clichés are worth keeping." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A gripping story of fatal attraction by the queen of trailer-trash noir.