Tiago Ribeiro Ribeiro desde Tormba, Maharashtra 413608, India
Hell if I know what "love" is, this novel invokes the word several times, usually justifying a murder. But lust is familiar to us all, and it drives this plot like Pappy Crackpipe on his old-timey monster truck. Really this story is consumed by the obvious wtf elements that bring men and women together: lust, jealousy, security, baby-making. And how each of these weapons can be deployed for a great story, which in this case ends in the death of all the principals, after a brief dunk in the cooling bath of our crooked legal system. Two cats (one electrocuted during the first caper, the second an emaciated puma) are the poles framing the plot (Cain's explicit about this) -- but what are cats but solitary hunters and neck-biting rapists? And then we get this: "'Rip me! Rip me!' I ripped her. I shoved my hand in her blouse and jerked. She was wide open, from her throat to her belly." Whereupon the narrator right-hooks her, giving her a shiner. I don't think Cain was kinky -- but sure as Jones he knew how marriage worked and what extremes were required (in women's fantasies) to end them. The entire novel is framed as a death row confession -- in other words this is probably a reliable narrator -- but finally you wonder what he was really on about. Other than that lust is reality and "marriage" is a fiction.