Iguana Love by Vicki Hendricks – review

March 19, 2013

iguana_love_smallI dunno how the weather is in your neck of the woods, dear reader, but in Minnesota we’re dealing with a whole helluva lotta snow right now – the shit just keeps coming down!  Last year during St. Pat’s it was so warm out there were people in fucking shorts at the bar, but this year?  You don’t pull that shit unless you’re a freshman in college who never has to leave the tunnel system to get from the dorms to the classroom.

So for those of us not going anywhere forgiving on spring break (some of us, you know, don’t even get one) I give you Iguana Love, another sex-filled and sun-soaked noir from Nerd favorite Vicki Hendricks.  This outing stars Ramona Romano, a sexy nurse from the Michigan who moves to Florida with her husband to escape the punishing cold and the drearily ordinary.  When our story begins Ramona is already getting bored with her doting husband, finding herself sneaking off at night to go to a bar by the ocean and get drunk with the lean and tanned scuba divers.  Her passion for the men and the sport eventually lead to her leaving her husband and taking up with the mysterious diving instructor Enzo.  Though she sees the warning signs from the start, she’s too infatuated with the likely drug runner to move on from him until she’s in some very (sorry in advance) deep water.

The first half of this short, tight novel feels like a particularly graphic and dark take on the Eat, Pray, Love-style book, with Ramona discovering the exciting new world of scuba diving and all the handsome and ready-to-go-the-bone-zone men that come with it.  She juggles different suitors and has a new found passion for sex and the sea.  But once she shacks up with Enzo shit gets harry and fucked up in delightfully grim ways.  To get too much into the, um, “transformation” Ramona goes through would spoil some of the last third’s wonderfully sick surprises, but rest assured this shit gets down to the stuff that’s strictly, gloriously for the basement junkie noir fans.

Iguana Love pulls you down into the depths of sexual obsession (I’ve gotta stop with the ocean metaphors) and never shies away from the horrifying consequences or the lurid, sticky details.  Hendricks knows how to write for both the one-handed reader and the crime fan in equal measure, and will always be one of our best and most original authors thanks to those talents.  So if you’re looking to heat things up during this asshole lion of a fucking March, I suggest you park yourself in front of the space heater with a bottle of Lubriderm and a copy of Iguana Love toot-fucking-sweet.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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