Plot: With the murderer as the main character here, readers may expect the plot to focus on a critical error that is his undoing, or to offer fresh insight on why he does what he does. We get a bit of both, and neither. The ending is surprising, but perhaps more thought-provoking than satisfying.
Prose/Style: The writing is clear and direct, avoiding the huge potential for sensationalism in the plot. The author conjures the time, place and atmosphere with cinematic effectiveness.
Originality: A man abusing his power in a small-town 50s setting is not especially new. His motivation is also not particularly surprising, but the ending is unexpected.
Character Development: Main character Pike is believable but unsympathetic. Secondary characters could be drawn with more detail. Darcy, Tammy, Bobby, and even Pancho and Gert may all have more potential but we see them largely as props for Henry Pike.
Date Submitted: August 30, 2019