Cruel Poetry

Cruel Poetry

by Vicki Hendricks

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Overview

A novel. Erotic, drug-ridden and violent, the story of Renata and her male and female lovers takes the reader into the heart of South Beach, Miami, where no one is surprised to find a friendly python or a "torture box" in the line of work for a hooker. Her search for love is strewn with body parts, but not through evil intent. Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award Finalist, 2008, published by Serpent's Tail, U.K. 2007.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990536529
Publisher: Winona Woods
Publication date: 10/21/2015
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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Cruel Poetry 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Miami Beach if you are male and can crawl let alone walk, you are attracted to the happy hooker Renata. Men cannot help themselves when it comes to this charming siren who has mesmerized even Pepe her snake and her pimp Francisco knows he should keep his hands off the merchandise, but cannot. Even women are intoxicated by this femme fatale. Client Professor Dick is beyond infatuation for her as he has a permanent wet spot whenever he comes to see Renata make that even when he thinks of his Renata, which means he is diligently wet 24/7. Next door is Jules the writer who hears her sexcapades through the thin walls when she entertains clients, but is frustrated so he settles for fantasy time with her. --- Rennie is not a nasty person though she can be tough. When Francisco wants more of her time with him, she calmly tells him they need her income to have any time together. When Richard vows to obtain a divorce and quit his job to be with her, she diligently tries to convince him his family needs him for then her. When Jules desires much more from her she tries to persuade her they both need their friendship more than becoming lovers. However some men cannot be reasoned with using logic as they make decisions with their lower head in charge. Thus trying to make their fantasy come true, Richard and Jules will do anything including murdering her clients, family members, and perhaps the partner to get Rennie out of her occupation and permanently into their respective lives. --- Though this character driven thriller rotates perspectives between Rennie, Dick, and Jules, the story line centers on the prostitute as much as of what the others do and think about her. The story line is fast-paced as sexual fantasy becomes homicide nightmares. Fans of Florida Noir will enjoy this sex and murder thriller in which blood flows more freely than scum. --- Harriet Klausner
swl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think some of VH's blurb-ers are a little too easily impressed with all that sex. Yes, there's a ton of it and yes, some of it is pretty imaginative. But if you look to the rest of the book, it's basically a cleverly-plotted Florida crime spree with some stock characters and not the most consistent writing in the world.So you have these odious people: Richard, the aging poet whose dreams of success have given way to boredom and contempt for his life - Renny, the beautiful but damaged and emotionally-vacant, sybaritic prostitute - Jules, the voyeuristic, self-hating, weak wastrel, and Francisco, Renny's lover and the only character even remotely sympathetic. Add some bad guys that seem like they came out of Hiassen's green room - but without the irony...a jealous wife who acts like a drunk zombie - oh, why bother with the rest.Like I said, the series of events is quite clever - the way a single act of fear and desperation leads to ever-darker crimes and decisions, until the end leaves dead bodies lying about like the stage of a Greek tragedy. But it isn't enough. Specifically:Why all the sex? It's so gratuitous - Renny is a cartoon, a blow-up doll of sexual availability, so unrealistic as to be dull. Does the sex mean something - stand for something - represent something else - if so, it was lost on me. If the theme is that men, and occasionally women, make themselves crazy over a sexually captivating and beautiful young woman, then this story doesn't really elevate itself above Penthouse Letters. If the message is that pure hedonism is a legitimate choice for those bereft of love and nurturing - same argument, with a sort of Nin flavor.Second, the voice. It's not terrible, it's not bad, it's quite adequate - but for a book that took five years to write, it's not special enough. There is little to distinguish the internal narrative voice of each of the 3 POV characters from each other - Richard and Jules in particular sound like the same person. The prose and dialog are unornamented and flat, which is okay for noir, but the effect is dull rather than stark and compelling.Returning to Richard for a moment - I found him utterly unsympathetic and detestable. Bad enough that he is a fool...but the man has kids and despite pages and pages spent in his fevered mind, their names and ages are never revealed and he seems utterly indifferent to their fate other than as part of the package he is leaving behind. Any comment being made on the nature of the value of family in the face of searing desire was completely ruined for me by this ommission.
Hagelstein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Revolving around an alluring, amoral Miami Beach prostitute, this is a somewhat bold, sex-laden crime story that has some interesting, if not partiucularly sympathetic, characters and some nice plot touches that flesh things out.