A Kiss Before You Leave Me - James Hulbert
Three master manipulators--and a woman in love--clash in the worlds of surveillance, voyeurism, and art.
Miranda Kincaid used liquor and other men to flee the control of her husband Vince and his mother Kathleen. Now divorced, sober, and man-free, she's putting her life back together. Vince, now her friend, wants her back--and his mother will stop at nothing to keep them apart. Kathleen's secret weapon? A new man: a seductive, married misfit, a once and future painter with demons of his own--and his own plans for Miranda.
Equal parts moral tale and "guilty pleasure," "A Kiss Before You Leave Me" is plotted like a thriller, but its most memorable violence is emotional--and all the more disturbing because it's done in the name of love.
Twelve rave reviews from readers at Amazon.com; average rating 4.8 stars (out of 5). An Amazon.co.uk bestseller for psychological fiction. A 2013 nominee (literary fiction) for BigAl's Books and Pals Readers' Choice Award.
"Cast a spell over me from the opening words... Strange and unexpected... Develops as the kind of affair you might have had (if you were lucky or cursed, depending on how you look at it) that makes you think deeper, drawing emotions not only from your heart and mind, but your very soul. Surface things are not always as they appear, motives, intentions, people. Seductive, powerful... excellent overall." --Red Haircrow, flyingwithredhaircrow.wordpress.com
"One's first impression is that, in its detail, 'A Kiss....' is consummately crafted as a Fabergé egg. There's not a word out of place, and many passages could comfortably stand by themselves as prose poems. At the same time, from the beginning... 'A Kiss....' is architectural in the sense that each detail is a carefully positioned part of a mystery, for like a Fabergé egg the novel is made to beautifully display the fact that it contains a secret. One reads on with the pleasure of anticipating its revelation. 'A Kiss....' is in a class all to itself, and I read it twice, fascinated. This is not a novel for lazy readers (or for prudes), but I heartily recommend it to all who love tight prose and a great mystery."--Mapuche2, Amazon.com product page