Saturday, June 22, 2013

What's on the iPod - Miami Purity - Feminine Noir

I'm not sure how I missed Vicki Hendricks' dark, noirish Miami Purity (1995), often dubbed a feminine The Postman Always Rings twice, but I was happy to discover the audiobook recently. That's due to a mention in a Salon article about what to read after Gillian Flynn's brilliant  Gone Girl.

Miami is brilliant also, a steamy--in more ways than one--and grim crime excursion told by the protagonist, Sherri Parlay. She's a former stripper who's maintained a vestige of innocence in spite of her rough thirty-six years and a deceased husband. He's deceased because she clipped him with a boom box while he was being abusive.

After her husband's death and some suspicion about it by the cops, Sherri lands a job in a Miami cleaner  called Miami Purity. She's hired by the owner, Brenda Mahoney.

Before long she's discovered the owner's son, Payne,  and fallen deeply into lust for him before she learns Brenda doesn't really care for Payne having a love life.

Things spiral downward as Sherri pursues Payne anyway and catches his interest. Once she's fallen for him, she learns just how twisted his relationship with Brenda is. With the best of intentions, she smothers Brenda with a plastic bag.

Things tumble around after that like towels in a dryer as Sherri strives for a healthy relationship with Payne that, as astute readers know, just isn't going to happen.

The question is, of course, how are things going to fall apart and what's going to happen with Sherri who has an affection for drink and men?

To say more would spoil the fun of the second part of the tale, but it unwinds nicely with a fairly intricate plot and plenty of twists and surprises.

The audio version is nicely suspenseful, and it's well narrated by Linda Borg, who invests Sherri with just the right mixture of sultry and innocent.

It's profanity-laced and loaded with graphic sexual descriptions, so be warned, but it's a great, seedy crime excursion.

A blogtalk radio interview with Vicki Henricks


Charles Gramlich said...

the seedier the better when you're talking about fictional crime!

Sidney said...

I suppose that's true. This one's seedy and steamy.

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