BY CHARLES RAMMELKAMP
Author: Vicki Hendricks
Winona Woods Books, 2013
Filed Under: Thriller, Chick-Lit
Dubbed by no less an authority than Megan Abbott as “the Queen of Noir,” Vicki Hendricks specializes in violent characters and bleak settings. Her new novel, Fur People, is almost – almost – a departure from this and might even veer slightly into the fuzzy feelgood world of chick lit.
Where characters like Sherri in Miami Purity or Ramona in Iguana Love or Renata in Cruel Poetry are hard-edged, unsentimental femmes fatales, with whom you associate at your own risk, the women in Fur People are idealistic do-gooders with noble, humanitarian impulses – but with whom you still associate at your own risk! Not for fear of getting shot or killed, but like all Hendricks’ characters, these women exist outside the mainstream.
Sunny Lytle, the main protagonist, is described as a “hoarder”: she never saw an animal she could turn away. As the novel starts, she is being evicted from her apartment in Louisville by her landlord when he comes to collect the rent, horrified by all the animals she keeps – cats, dogs, gerbils – and of course all the shit and stink and fur they leave behind. Sunny is involved with Bear, an older married man who has taken her under his wing, part protégé, part lover. Bear, whose hobby is collecting and refurbishing cars, offers to let Sunny use his bus to transport her “fur family” to DeLeon Springs, Florida, where she grew up. Continue reading