Kimball get started as a novelist. It’s also inevitable because Mouth to Mouth is structured much like a horror novel, particularly in its slow build-up to the revelation to true evil lurking beneath a seductive surface. But it wouldn’t be fair to take the comparison much farther, because Kimball is his own man, and this is an excellent novel.the wedding of Chambers’ pregnant teenage daughter Moreen. Neal’s arrival distracts Ellen Chambers from her unease at her daughter’s marriage to a violent drug dealer, Randy. Neal’s return provides a new focus for her life in rural Maine, where her husband’s business is failing and her daughters’ friends are becoming increasingly dangerous. As Ellen finds herself drawn more and more towards Neal, the past begins to draw itself to the surface, and as the seduction takes place, it becomes evident that it’s consequences may be more serious than anyone could imagine.revenge is the way they will be re-exposed. Throughout this long scene-setting process, Kimball maintains the book’s tension through the give and take of the seduction, which is nowhere near as simple asis utterly convincing, including a couple of very effective sex scenes written from the female perceptions.with the same sort of sympathy and menace that Daniel Woodrell has expressed in the Ozarks. His scene of Randy in the barn, shooting up another teenaged girl at his own wedding, carries exactly the sort of smouldering sexuality and menace to be both alluring and repulsive. It’s the sort of thing a generation of American creative writing professors have made their livings doing for the cheap thrilling of a would-be literary audience, but few have done it this well.In fact, Kimball’s writing is so effective that when the story switches gears and becomes more of a suspense thriller, it’s something of a let-down, partly because some of these interesting side-plots and characters, like Ray LaFlamme, the local gangster, or Rooftop, local muscle, don’t necessarily get their fair share of the spotlight. It also because the physical resolution of the story simply isn’t as fascinating as the psychological build-up. It can’t be. But that’s a price I’m certainly willing to pay.Mouth to Mouth will please readers across a number of genres, but mostly it will please fans of quality writing.

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