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Miami Purity [Paperback]

Vicki Hendricks , Ken Bruen , Megan Abbott
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2007

“Sex and murder, sunny places and shady people—Miami Purity is a modern noir masterpiece.”—Michael Connelly

Miami Purity is the toughest, sexiest, most original debut noir novel ever written. . . . Gripping, super-sexy, and unforgettably raw.”—Lauren Henderson

“Vicki Hendricks has been called the ‘Queen of Noir,’ and after reading Miami Purity you’ll know why.”—Timothy Lockhart, The Virginian-Pilot

A modern, feminist take on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Vicki Hendricks is the Edgar Award–nominated author of Cruel Poetry (Serpent’s Tail). She lives in Florida.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Hendricks's debut novel is a noir-ish tale of an aging former stripper whose attempt to go clean leads her into a murderously perverse affair.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Watching the noir novel go mainstream has been a painful experience, like listening to a classic R & B song covered by one of those squeaky clean white-bread groups in the fifties. Noir is no longer a worldview; it isn't even a style, really; it's a pose, an excuse to turn the lights down and smoke cigarettes. Soon, it will probably be a perfume: "Noir, for the femme fatale in you." It's so rare to encounter the real thing these days that when you do, as in Hendricks' sledgehammer of a first novel, the effect is all the more intense: "Hank was drunk and he slugged me--it wasn't the first time--and I picked up the radio and caught him across the forehead with it. It was one of those big boom boxes with the cassette player and recorder, but I didn't think it would kill him."

That's the first sentence in the story of Sherri Parlay, a topless dancer who tries, in her fashion, to go straight. Like the doomed heroes in a James M. Cain or Jim Thompson novel, though, Sherri isn't going anywhere but down. A job at a dry cleaner called Miami Purity seems safe enough, a symbolic step out of the night life, but the boss lady has a son, a cute son, and before the postman can ring even once, the sexual heat makes the steam rising from the pressing machines seem like an ocean breeze. The most memorable noir heroes, even the most depraved of them, all seek purity; when they don't find it, the killers inside them are unleashed. Hendricks makes unflinching use of the archetypal noir story--flawed character in a flawed world wants more, gets less--but she does it in a voice that's all her own: matter-of-fact yet outrageously funny, grotesque yet discordantly tender. This is no ordinary first novel: when Sherri Parlay enters a room, you pay attention. Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
The dark side of my mind took control on one of those slippery-hot Miami nights about a year ago, the start of my unraveling, my spin into psychosis and murder. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vile is a genre - maybe the only one Nov. 23 1999
I read Miami Purity when it first came out and have been waiting patiently for Hendricks' next book. I'm waiting for Iguana Love to arrive in my mailbox now.
Writers tell us lies about life because publishers pay them to do so. If you run a search on my name here, you'll see why I think that. Every once in a while, quite possibly by mistake, the filter fails and somebody honest slips through. We've got Vicki Hendricks among us now, and I hope she lasts a good long while and writes many more books like this one.
This is a book that lets you see into a woman's head the way some rare male writers occasionally let you see into the heads of men, without wallpapering the set with fairy tales. The woman in the story will scare you, and she should.
Ms. Hendricks, if you read this: Well done!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge at last for all those tough-guy novels! Aug. 14 1999
By A Customer
While you might find fault with this zippy and startling book, you cannot afford to miss it if you're the least bit interested in this genre. Tough guys doing the same thing become famous and beloved characters, but it seems this sexy, ballsy female heroine upsets people. Why? Read it and see. No one writes tough-girl dialogue as well as Hendricks. Perversion? Sure...the main character certainly is--she uses people...she uses men as sex objects. I found her unforgettable and the writing equal to any author in this genre. The fact that she repulses so many readers only shows how powerful and unnnerving this anti-heroine is....
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1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh. Jan. 27 1999
By A Customer
I found this book for $3, and I have to say, it could have been better spent. The dialogue is awful, the descriptions boring, and the sex scenes aren't even well-written. Blah blah, Sherri wants to have sex again, you'll get tired of it by the fourth chapter. I read the last 10 pages to friends as they sat and groaned. Parts of it are ok, I suggest if you really want to read it, make sure there's nothing better you could be doing with your time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous ride of a read I couldn't put down May 12 1999
By A Customer
I read Vicki Hendricks' Miami Purity in one sitting--twice. No female in America even gets close to handling noir fiction the way Hendricks does--this is unblinking, unsquinting, truth-telling wrapped in a terrific story. The character of Sherri Parlay has no equal, and when it comes to writing about sex and obession, either does Hendricks! Finally. This book is liberated and liberating. I can't wait to read her next book, Iguana Love.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Twisted... I like it!! :) Sept. 22 1997
Just a good simple read. Nothing too complicated. The relationships between the characters gets wild and twisted in this novel. The crass trashiness of the main character provides an interesting point of view... one of a decidedly sexual nature, but also one that shows her desperation for acceptance and love (although she goes about the wrong way of finding and securing it). It ends up being a bit predictable however
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4.0 out of 5 stars gripping, shocking and thrilling Oct. 14 1999
By A Customer
I had never read a fiction noir before. Reading this book has made me want to read more fiction noir. True, this is not a book for everyone. The language is sharp. The dialogues are crisp and raw. The story is dark yet plausible.
I read the book in one sitting. Detractors may wish to trash this book as a jerk-off companion, but this book is about dark, perverse and depraved human passions, lust and lies.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars nobody does the trailer park like vicki hendricks...
sherri reminds me of a woman i met on a greyhound bus the first time i went to san francisco from louisiana. every thing you could want in a crime novel. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2002 by Erren Geraud Kelly
3.0 out of 5 stars What a plot!....
This book leaves you wondering what will happen next. You really feel Sherri's struggles with overcoming the mortal fact that she is, and always will be a "bad girl". Read more
Published on Oct. 13 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Vile is not a Genre
Poorly written. Depressing, full of characters who are uninteresting and depraved. The book masquerades as literature -- and some of the reviews appear to agree. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars If Jim Thompson were a woman...
I enjoyed this book emensely. It was nice to see a novel noir a la Jim Thompson/ James Cain written from the view point of a woman (and written by a woman) and be as dark, sleazy,... Read more
Published on Nov. 4 1998 by Rolf Semprebon (
3.0 out of 5 stars This woman is someone you won't forget.
I bought this book for a light read, and was surprised by how well the author has developed the heroine's character. She gets you into a really twisted mind. Read more
Published on July 9 1998 by
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is not worth your time or money.
The author apparently believes that she can write an interesting book simply by having the protagonist say the word "pussy" every other page and have sex at least once a... Read more
Published on June 11 1997
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