Friday, March 20, 2015


I'm not a total wimp. Not spectacularly brave either. My tastes in mysteries are decidedly on the side of physiological literary mysteries. I hate books with no plot. Even if the writing is exquisite, if there is no story I feel cheated. I also lean toward "mean streets" in mysteries rather than cozies.

So I was surprised at my reaction to the beginning of a book a couple of days ago. A rape was so obviously going to take place and I simply could not stomach it. I laid the book aside. I was reading it in bed. Bedtime reading is a well-established habit and I've learned that certain kinds of books keep me awake. If a book is too upsetting it interferes with a good night's sleep. Which means I will be sluggish and unhappy the next day.

The next afternoon I resumed reading the book. It's terrific! I'm not going to identify it right now because I haven't finished it and will review it when I'm done. Here's what impressed me about the dreaded rape scene; it was not described after all. Yes, it took place, but the focus of the book was on the downfall of a young man who was a non-participating bystander who is bribed by the wealthy family the men involved to keep information to himself. The details of the crime emerge slowly as does the consequences of his disastrous choices.

It's a tale of intricate vengeance wrought by the father of the damaged young woman who committed suicide because of the rape.

Part of my reluctance to continue the book that first night was because this book is so well-written, which means literary, I suppose, which I'm beginning to equate with sad unsatisfying tales. I'm fed up with powerful, wealthy people getting away with anything and everything in literature as well as in real life. I'm disheartened by the number of books where such people are never brought to justice. It's a class issue and it's becoming more obvious all the time in our society.

The book has great characterization and I have hopes that the protagonist who is slowly growing in courage and a thirst for justice will decide to do the right thing. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Evildoers used to be identified as such. I want those days back.  

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