Ever wonder why someone would jump out of a perfectly good airplane? It’s the rush. That’s what wildlife vet Destiny Donne learns when a handsome skydiver walks into her office asking for help with a lion cub he’s not supposed to have. His name is Tom and he smooth-talks his way into her bed and lures her into the world of skydiving. Yet Desi, as she’s called, finds herself played against Tom’s estranged wife Swan. Soon, Tom is talking murder. Desi must kill, Tom tells her, or be killed.
Hendricks likes to reverse the traditional noir with women playing the seduced and men as the homme fatale. But where Miami Purity and Iguana Love had women stumbling into situations not of their making, and Voluntary Madness had a female protag sliding down the rabbit hole after a man hell-bent on hitting the bottom, Des strikes me as a bit too intelligent for falling for Tom, who is an obvious con man from the get-go. Yes, he oozes masculine sex out every pore, but his story about the lion cub being kept “for a guy” should have meant a phone call to the police.
But the main feature of this story is the sky diving. It’s one of Hendricks’s interests, and that shines through in this. In some ways, Des exists less to provide her with a channel for her talents in noir than she does to convey what it’s like for humans to literally fly.