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The Violated: A Novel Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"[A]bsorbing . . . Mr. Pronzini tells a larger story than the expected battle between cops and criminals. In the words of the most conscientious Santa Rita police officer: 'What bothered me most of all . . . were the dark consequences of the crimes.' They 'couldn’t be erased by the solutions.'" - Wall Street Journal
"Pronzini is a pro." - The New York Times
"Pronzini is a master of suspense." - Los Angeles Times
"The Shamus Award-winning Pronzini delivers a masterly stand-alone novel. . . . Pronzini cleverly unfolds the case through alternating perspectives." - starred Review, Library Journal
"THE VIOLATED is a smartly written thriller that probes emotions experienced by victims and all those touched by the crimes against them. No one, not even the cops -- who see crime daily -- comes away unscathed. In his newest fast-paced mystery, Bill Pronzini tries to help readers take a step toward a better understanding of and a higher empathy for people recovering from violence. Well done, sir. Very well done." - Bookreporter
"This is a psychological novel dressed up in a thriller suit, which means the teeth are showing, and Pronzini's skill keeps things moving. Another satisfying tale from a crime master." - Booklist
"This most recent standalone from Mr. Pronzini is right up there with the best of them . . . I must say that each [chapter] was conspicuously in the believable voice of the speaker, not an easy task! . . . The multiple p.o.v. chapters include other victims and their spouses, each one entirely true to their characters . . . An excellent addition to this author's oeuvre, it is highly recommended." - Midwest Book Review
"His novels are packed with adventure, fresh characterization, and minute-by-minute suspense." - Chicago Tribune
"Pronzini delivers breathtaking suspense." - San Francisco Examiner
"Pronzini's book, with its smooth writing, crisp dialogue, deft characterization and subtly ambiguous story line, puts the lie to the facile distinction between 'literary' and genre fiction. Crime may figure in the tale, but if this is 'just a crime novel,' then so is Crime and Punishment." - Philadelphia Inquirer on THE CRIMES OF JORDAN WISE
"Pronzini is the master of the shivery, spine-tingling it-could-happen suspense story." - Publishers Weekly
"After 66 novels, including the distinguished Nameless Detective series, Pronzini's energy seems undiminished and his cool intelligence as appealing as ever." - Kirkus Reviews on THE CRIMES OF JORDAN WISE
About the Author
Bill Pronzini is the author of more than eighty novels, including several in collaboration with his wife, the novelist Marcia Muller, and is the creator of the popular Nameless Detective series. A six-time nominee for the Edgar Allan Poe Award (most recently for A Wasteland of Strangers), Pronzini is the recipient of three Shamus Awards. He received a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in May 2008. He and Muller live in Northern California.
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But now, I think Titus has nailed it. Keep up the good work.
Police Chief Griffin Kells has been working overtime in order to find sufficient proof that would put Torrey away. The man’s death will make it more difficult than ever because, now, on top of the rapes, the police have a murder to solve. And Santa Rita mayor Hugh Delahunt seems to be rooting against Kells. While he should be hoping for a quick end to the case, he’s looking for any excuse to oust his chief of police. In fact, he has long wanted to replace Kells with his own handpicked guy, an officer who nearly everyone else in the department will tell you isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but is Delahunt’s puppet. Luckily, local newspaper owner and reporter Ted Lowenstein comes down strongly on the side of Chief Kells and heavily against the town’s mayor and his cronies. Since the police chief doesn’t need extra pushback on top of his already-daunting load, that helps to balance things out, at least a little bit.
Naturally, the citizens of Santa Rita find it hard to mourn the loss of a man who was accused of such horrendous crimes, but think of his widow. She believes in her husband’s innocence, and her sister says she does, too. Her brother-in-law may have a different opinion, though, one that mirrors that of pretty much everyone else in town. Actually, a big part of what kept the DA from prosecuting Torrey was the victims’ own accounts. First off, none of them saw their attacker. Nothing about him stood out; he was simply described as average. And none of them could say definitively that Torrey even sounded like the man who raped them. He could be; that was the closest they would get to fingering him. And the rape kits? Well, all but one of them are still waiting to be processed. Backlog and all. In truth, no one really expected they would change anything anyway. There was a strong consensus that the DA would waffle when it came to prosecuting. Meanwhile, the rest of Santa Rita knew who had attacked all those women. Really, whoever killed Torrey, well, kind of did everyone a favor. Didn’t he? The whole town knew he was guilty. Wasn’t he?
The evidence comes out through the alternating viewpoints of the major characters. Each chapter is told by a different person, allowing the reader inside the head of the chief, the mayor, the victims, their families, the widow. And the kicker is that no one will know “whodunit” until the very end.
THE VIOLATED is a smartly written thriller that probes emotions experienced by victims and all those touched by the crimes against them. No one, not even the cops --- who see crime daily --- comes away unscathed. In his newest fast-paced mystery, Bill Pronzini tries to help readers take a step toward a better understanding of and a higher empathy for people recovering from violence. Well done, sir. Very well done.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
The author of more than eighty novels, this most recent standalone from Mr. Pronzini is right up there with the best of them. The p.o.v. changes from chapter to chapter, e.g., Chapter I of Part I is told in first person by Liane Torrey, the wife and now widow of the murdered man, the next chapter by the police chief Kells (only the 2nd homicide during his seven-year tenure as chief), the next by the politically ambitious Mayor Hugh Delahunt, the next by Ione Spivey, one of the rapist’s victims, and on and on - - I must say that each was conspicuously in the believable voice of the speaker, not an easy task!
There had been four assaults in four months, “despite increased police patrols, stepped-up neighborhood watches, public warnings to women not to go out alone at night and to take security precautions when home by themselves. And each one committed without leaving a single solid clue to his identity.” The cops obviously have their work cut out for them, their job made that much harder with the firestorm of negative media coverage seeking to oust the chief.
A subplot concerns Robert Ortiz, who admittedly has “no difficulty commanding men, but no aptitude for administrative duties and little for public relations, and I do not suffer fools well,” whose Hispanic heritage does not help his “goal is to become a high-ranking detective with the state police or the police department of one of the larger cities.”
The multiple p.o.v. chapters include other victims and their spouses, each one entirely true to their characters (as I’ve already mentioned), and the case becomes dramatically more difficult with another attack, making it rather obvious that the dead man was surely not the man responsible for the first four. The entire tale takes place in just over a week, the suspense rising as the hunt for the attacker/murderer goes on. An excellent addition to this author’s oeuvre, it is highly recommended.