Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE VIOLATED by Bill Pronzini

Santa Rita is a small town with a big city problem: a serial rapist is working its streets. When the prime suspect, Martin Torrey, is murdered—a bullet to the back of his head and two postmortem shots to his groin—the police’s rape investigation is derailed by what appears to be a vigilante murder. Martin’s death is good news for most of Santa Rita’s residents, even his wife feels some guilty relief, and the investigation seems to be going nowhere fast as the embattled Sheriff, Griffin Kells, tries to solve the rapes—there was never enough evidence to charge Torrey—and the murder both.
With The Violated, Bill Pronzini uses a progressive, and difficult to pull off, story-telling technique; each character, both major and minor, speak in first person narration from chapter to chapter. It gives the story an emotional power, from the stress and anxiety the investigating officers feel to the raw fear and rage of the victims, that would otherwise be impossible to capture. It slows the story’s pace, which, since the novel is a character-driven police procedural, is less critical than it would be with a plot-driven, action-oriented novel. A soulless mayor with political ambitions and a meth dealer add enough intrigue to keep everything moving until the final climactic twist.

1 comment:

TracyK said...

Glad to see your review of this book, Ben, I have a copy and plan to read it soonish (maybe early in 2018). Only negative for me is the topic, a serial rapist. But I am expecting to like it a lot.