Where Honesty Never Ends.
The Kiss by Adrienne Silcock
Disclaimer: May Contain Slight Spoilers
When I first started reading this book, it reminded me so much of the movie, Closer. The simple premise is about two couples whose lives become intertwined and highly complex.
The story starts off with two couples. Both of them get pictures taken of them while posing in front of a statue called El Beso (The Kiss). Although a brief meeting, it leaves quite an impact on both couples.
Dialogue between Rita and Tom sets the stage. Rita asks if Tom thought that the red haired girl, Simeon, is pretty, and if Simeon’s companion, Rick, was good looking. It was Tom’s inner thoughts, not Rita’s admiration for Simeon’s looks, which really peaked my interest.
Initially, I believed there were sparks of attraction between the two women from the query, but as I read on, the twist was the attraction had nothing to do with the women in the story but with the men.
The chance encounter becomes significant when Rick is called upon to take a case involving embezzlement of company funds. His client is none other than Tom, the gentleman he met near The Kiss.
In the past, Rick has been the pillar of doing the right thing, yet Tom’s case causes Rick to blur his normally defined lines. It could be because Tom has developed his own “gridlines” (I deem to call them his own justifications for his actions) and expect the outside world to fall in line.
Is Tom’s presence really a form of witchcraft, and Rick is under the spell, or does Tom explore something within Rick that he doesn’t want to address? Perhaps a little of both.
The author does a great job in really bringing the reader in based on dialogue along due to the innuendos. She also has a clear cut way in how she wants to use the conflict of each of the characters as well as excellent pacing with the drama.
I found myself feeling a great bit of care about Simeon. She is the one who is the most blind sighted by all of the developments. She struggles to hold on to her belief in the “steadfast Rick” she fell in love with and wanted to build a life with, yet towards the end, she is forced to choose between her own moral code and trying to uphold a semblance of association with him.
My feelings towards Rita did start as feeling sympathetic once she found out about certain things with Tom but shifted as time went on.
The only thing I will say is this: If a person doesn’t care about you in the same way, the worst thing you can do is try to manipulate him to stay.
Although I am not a fan of Tom, I have a begrudging respect for him because he has accepted his truth and lives in it; unlike Rick, who seems in a constant state of torment of perception versus his own desires. Rick talks a good game, but each time, he slowly reverts back to the facade.
In the end, everyone loses, with Rick being the biggest loser of all.
I did notice as I read this copy of The Kiss, there were no quotation marks anywhere in the work to separate dialogue from narrative. This did make it difficult in quite a few parts to follow. In addition, in some places, there wasn’t a clear breakdown of which character was saying what. It would help from a visual standpoint if the quotation marks were present. (I do recognize in different parts of the world that single quotation marks are used, as opposed to double quotation marks for dialogue, which is why I put a graphic displaying both.)
It would have also been nice to have italics to point out the inner dialogue and thoughts of some of the characters as well, like Tom’s thoughts on Rick in the beginning or when Tom and Rick meet with each other for the case.
I rate The Kiss an 8 out of 10. It has wonderfully complex characters, an interesting plot, and great pacing in action.
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