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.)
This novel is a disorienting caress, a slow dance to an unknown song of desire and mystery. Neimark, a journalist by trade, understands inquisitiveness and has made her heroine and narrator, the lithe, lovely, and bright Lynn, a New York City-based science reporter. Lynn's capacity for love has been stunted by the abrupt disappearance of her adored older brother. Between boyfriends, she runs a smugly cryptic personal ad that brings Kim into her life. A "flawed Adonis," Kim works as a welder in Brooklyn but has clearly pursued far more enigmatic endeavors. Their interactions are electric with the warring forces of fear and lust, and Lynn's relentless curiosity soon entangles her in Kim's tricky past. When he lived in San Juan, he and a drug lord loved the same selfish woman, and their passionate rivalry ended in murder. Now Lynn must decide whether Kim is a killer or a man who simply gives people what they want. Neimark's ability to capture the atmosphere of each realm she explores, from New York's infinite potentiality and Puerto Rico's duality to the depths of eroticism, is breathtaking. Profoundly sensual, she articulates a woman's pleasure and pride in her own body and the terror and bliss of surrendering to its powers.
The Los Angeles Times
"Neimark writes about sexuality of the mind and body with a genuine intimacy, candor and a dark but estatic eroticism....Bloodsong is one turned-on book...Neimark pours so much passion into her novel the story literally begins to sing." -- Jonathan Kirsch