Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Literary Fiction/Suspense
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words
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“James Hulbert has worked as a bartender, food bank coordinator, government worker, Peace Corps Volunteer, research assistant, teacher, translator, and video rental clerk. He studied literature at Princeton, Freiburg, Geneva, and Yale. He has translated texts by Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan, as well as Hans Biedermann's 'Dictionary of Symbolism'. Hulbert is married to the painter Jim Carpenter, for whom he has somehow never posed nude, at least not in a professional capacity.”
For more, visit Hulbert’s blog.
“Three master manipulators and a woman in love clash in the worlds of surveillance, voyeurism and art. Miranda's ex wants her back. His mother will do anything to keep them apart. Her secret weapon? A seductive Adonis with demons of his own--and plans for Miranda. Both moral tale and guilty pleasure, KISS is a thriller whose violence is emotional--and all the worse because done in the name of love.”
A Kiss Before You Leave Me is literary fiction (one of those “you know it when you see it” things) with the plot of a suspense novel. The characters are different from the norm enough that guessing their secrets and how it will all work out is virtually impossible. How I felt about different characters kept changing as the story progressed with some significant surprises down the finishing stretch.
One item I noted was what seemed like a change in the point of view from one book (major sections of the novel) to the next. In reality it wasn’t a change in the point of view – it is all in third person – however, it changes from past tense to the narrator describing a series of paintings in present tense which allude, albeit ambiguously, to what happened. I don’t see anything wrong with this practice and these sections were well executed, but it may be off-putting to some readers.
Some adult language and situations.
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five stars