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Eye for an Eye Paperback – November, 1994

3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Respectable citizens resort to organized vigilantism in this feeble conspiracy thriller set in contemporary New York. Successful PR executive Karen Newman falls in with a shadowy group called Victims Anonymous after her daughter is brutally gang-raped and murdered, prompting her son-in-law and granddaughter to commit suicide. When the judge, a bleeding-heart liberal, sets free her daughter's juvenile killer despite photographic evidence of the crime, Karen finds more satisfying justice with a pistol and the support of her new club. Victims Anonymous asks Karen to coordinate publicity for the burgeoning nationwide organization, and she becomes progressively more involved in its inner circle--which, of course, proves to include victimizers as well as victimized. Holzer ( Double Crossing ) fails to give this preposterous scenario any credibility. Her first-person narrative is a muddle, her characters mere stick figures trading trite, underdone commentary on American law enforcement as they move forward a clumsy plot full of illogical twists and unsatisfying elaboration.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Advertising executive Karen Newman's worst nightmares come true when a gang of street thugs rape, mutilate, and murder her daughter on Halloween night. When the gang's leader is released by a "humanitarian" judge, she is outraged. By Christmas she has joined an underground vigilante group, Victims Anonymous, and avenged her daughter's death. Recruited because of her advertising acumen, Karen soon becomes involved in the organization's leadership, her grief leading her to believe that it's time for victims to rise up and retaliate since the police and the judicial system have failed them. She soon realizes, however, that this sort of vigilante "justice" simply breeds more grief, death, and terror. Tapping into modern-day fears of rampant crime, the author of Double Crossing ( LJ 8/83) has produced a complex, tense, and suspenseful tale of a woman battling destructive forces within and without. Recommended.
- Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, Ind.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (November 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812515293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812515299
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,531,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
“Let me say, for openers, that Erika Holzer is a master of dialogue!
As for her characters, the way she gives us Kagan’s sense of detachment is superb. It makes him a suspect character from early on. And Claudia is a marvel. She and Karen have a lovely friendship. I also admire Holzer’s shrink, Dr. James Coyne AKA Jamie. His profession allows him singularly thoughtful judgments. Holzer’s characterizations were nicely fleshed out, even down to the fashions the women wear and the food they cook and eat.
The final scene between Karen and the young boy, Tony, was both surprising and gratifying.
Eye for an Eye has so many mystifying twists and turns that it demands a reader’s close attention. This is NOT light reading. I learned a great deal about the criminal justice system from the heroine, Karen Newman. Now more than ever after reading this novel, I think the system needs reforming—and I would certainly prosecute violent juveniles as adults.
The curious dedication of this book: "To the victims of violent crime, dead or alive" reveals something about its topical stance and profound political ideas. Now that our nation is increasingly alert to violence, whether in our streets, schools, or bedrooms, we obsessively seek answers to the origins of evil. Eye for an Eye is a gripping story of both a confrontation with raw evil and our nation's increasing obsession with law and order. The novel's Prologue serves as a chilling entryway to reflections on crime and punishment that pronounce on our violent age not unlike Dostoevsky did on 19th-century Russia. Erika Holzer's gift for narrative tension, her powers of character analysis, and her gift for dialogue make this a book to remember, to argue about, and--for anyone who has been victimized--to cherish.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Let me say, for openers, that Erika Holzer is a master of dialogue!
As for her characters, the way she gives us Kagan’s sense of detachment is superb. It makes him a suspect character from early on. And Claudia is a marvel. She and Karen have a lovely friendship. I also admire Holzer’s shrink, Dr. James Coyne AKA Jamie. His profession allows him singularly thoughtful judgments. Holzer’s characterizations were nicely fleshed out, even down to the fashions the women wear and the food they cook and eat.
The final scene between Karen and the young boy, Tony, was both surprising and gratifying.
Eye for an Eye has so many mystifying twists and turns that it demands a reader’s close attention. This is NOT light reading. I learned a great deal about the criminal justice system from the heroine, Karen Newman. Now more than ever after reading this novel, I think the system needs reforming. The curious dedication of this book: "To the victims of violent crime, dead or alive" reveals something about its topical stance and profound political ideas. Now that our nation is increasingly alert to violence, whether in our streets, schools, or bedrooms, we obsessively seek answers to the origins of evil. Eye for an Eye is a gripping story of both a confrontation with raw evil and our nation's increasing obsession with law and order. The novel's Prologue serves as a chilling entryway to reflections on crime and punishment that pronounce on our violent age not unlike Dostoevsky did on 19th-century Russia. Erika Holzer's gift for narrative tension, her powers of character analysis, and her gift for dialogue make this a book to remember, to argue about, and--for anyone who has been victimized--to cherish.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was hoping that Erika Holzer's Eye for an Eye would be better than the dreadful 1996 movie with Sally Field and Kiefer Sutherland et al. But no. The problems remain, despite substantial re-writing since the movie ran slap into bad reviews. Action is set in Santa Monica. Karen McCann is happily married to a second husband and they have two daughters, seventeen-year old Julie and six-year old Megan. Julie is brutally raped and murdered by as evil a hoodlum as you can imagine, in the person of Robert Doob. The attack takes place while Karen is on the phone to her daughter, so she hears all the gory details while caught in traffic. Almost every major plot development around that is utterly predictable. DNA evidence not good enough so the killer walks free. Mother joins victim support group and teams up with like-minded vigilantes who want to rid the world of known criminals who have escaped the law. Climax reached (but no plot-spoiler here) in exactly the way anyone would predict it. It’s all in the title. And it’s all very gruesome and boring. The book can’t make up its mind what it wants to do. Laughably unreal moments, little authenticity. A real disappointment.
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By A Customer on June 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"eye for an eye" was such a powerful movie that we forget there
was an even more powerful book behind it. holzer's novel is still in the front rank of tales of violence and retribution. the characters ring true, the action will have you gritting your teeth, and the climax can take your breath away. as good...and as apt...now as it was when first published.
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By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I saw the film before reading the book. I think I like the film better. The first part of the book is good. The subsequent parts, however, I think are a bit out of control especially the parts when Karen worked as a double agent and when she confronted with Kagan.
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