The violated A novel

Bill Pronzini

Book - 2017

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MYSTERY/Pronzini Bill
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Mystery fiction
New York : Bloomsbury 2017.
Physical Description
xiv, 252 pages ; 25 cm
Main Author
Bill Pronzini (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Once again Pronzini imposes his version of modernist style on conventional crime-story material, with character studies all but standing in for plot, and brings it off quite well. The dead body on the beach at the edge of the little California town turns out to be that of Martin Torrey, a registered sex offender suspected of vicious attacks on local women. The progress of the investigation is told in alternating points of view, giving everyone involved something to say. Torrey's widow thinks her husband's suspected murder may be for the best, while one victim's husband takes to swaggering about with a gun. Another victim kills herself. The mayor wonders what this will do to his career; the newspaper publisher is happy to use the case to skewer the gasbag mayor; and so on. Detective Robert Ortiz, the only one trying to solve the murder, keeps the whodunit plot alive by patiently interviewing and reinterviewing everyone until, finally, coincidence provides a break. 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. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A six-time Edgar Award finalist and three-time Shamus Award winner, Pronzini offers a stand-alone set in small-town California, where the body of registered sex offender Martin Torrey has been found slashed to bits following a string of rapes for which he is the main suspect.. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Santa Rita, CA, police chief Griffin Kells and detective Robert Ortiz suspect Martin Torrey, a registered sex offender, of raping several women. They are unable to arrest him owing to the lack of physical evidence and the victims' inability to confirm the identity of their attacker. However, when Torrey's mutilated body is discovered by two passersby in Echo Park, there is increased pressure from the community and from the mayor for Kells to produce results immediately. VERDICT In a change of pace from his "Nameless Detective" series, the Shamus Award-winning Pronzini delivers a masterly stand-alone novel. Readers of T. Jefferson Parker's crime novels will enjoy the way Pronzini cleverly unfolds the case through alternating perspectives. In addition, fans of David Joy's novels will appreciate the strong sense of place in Pronzini's depiction of Northern California. [See Prepub Alert, 10/3/16.]—Russell Michalak, Goldey-Beacom Coll. Lib., Wilmington, DE. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In the prologue of this disappointing standalone from MWA Grand Master Pronzini (The Hidden), two Santa Rita, Calif., cops inspect the dead body of Martin Torrey lying on a grassy riverbank. Whoever shot Torrey in the groin may have done so as an act of vigilante justice, since Torrey was the prime suspect in a series of recent rapes in which the perpetrator always wore a condom. When Torrey, who had a history as a sex offender, moved from Ohio to Santa Rita, he failed to register with the authorities as required by law, but people soon learned about his past. That a case couldn't be built against Torrey furthered tensions between the town's self-centered and nakedly ambitious mayor, Hugh Delahunt, and police chief Griffin Kells, who landed his position despite Delahunt's support of another candidate for the job. The effort to identify Torrey's killer involves reinterviewing the rape victims, whose perspectives help humanize the novel. Unfortunately, Pronzini's choice to include the perspectives of other, often-inconsequential characters dilutes the emotional impact. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Mar.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a sex offender, who had been implicated in a series of attacks, is found murdered, police chief Griffin Less and detective Robert Ortiz are pressured by the mayor as they reconstruct the events.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a registered sex offender who has been implicated in a string of attacks is found murdered in small California town, police chief Griffin Less and detective Robert Ortiz are pressured by a results-oriented mayor as they reconstruct events from the testimonies of the offender's wife and the irate husbands of women victims.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A new stand-alone thriller by an acclaimed master of the genre and author of the Nameless Detective series.Bill Pronzini is crime-writing royalty. His more than eighty published novels have won or been nominated for Edgar, Hammett, Anthony, Shamus, and Macavity awards--a clean sweep of the crime fiction award field--and received rave reviews from critics. He crafts masterful stories, often from multiple perspectives, in which the human condition is on full display.The Violated is no exception. In Echo Park, in the small town of Santa Rita, California, the mutilated body of Martin Torrey is found by two passersby. A registered sex offender, Torrey has been a suspect in a string of recent rapes, and instant suspicion for his murder falls on the relatives and friends of the women attacked. Police chief Griffin Kells and detective Robert Ortiz are under increasing pressure from the public and from a mayor demanding results in a case that has no easy solution. Pronzini cleverly unfolds the case through alternating perspectives--Martin Torrey's wife, caught between her grief and the fear her husband was guilty; the outraged husbands of the women violated; the enterprising editor of the local paper; the mayor concerned most with his own ratings; the detectives, often spinning in circles--until a surprising break leads to a completely unexpected conclusion. The Violated is Bill Pronzini at the height of his storytelling powers.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A new stand-alone thriller by an acclaimed master of the genre and author of the Nameless Detective series.