Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fury by G.M. Ford (Pan, 2001)

Walter Leroy Himes is due to be executed for the Trashman killings – eight young women slain over an eighty day period in Seattle, their bodies left in garbage dumpsters.  The crucial witness, Leanne Samples, a naïve, cloistered woman who claimed to have been attacked by the Trashman now says she lied at the trial.  The police don’t want to know; they’ve got their man and he’s going to pay the ultimate price.  Samples turns to investigative journalist, Frank Corso.  Once a high flying reporter, Corso has fallen from grace, now making a living writing true crime books and filing a column for the Seattle Sun.  Persuaded to follow-up on Samples story, Corso starts to reinvestigate the Trashman killings, and what he finds is deeply unsettling.  If Himes is innocent then he has six days to prove it and then the hunt for the real killer must begin.

Fury is a perfectly competent crime thriller, well written and structured, and it passes a pleasant few hours.  The plot is tight, the characters well drawn, and the dialogue and relationships realistic.  But there is little to make it stand out from the pack.  The story did carry a certain amount of tension, but is fairly predictable and the characters familiar.  And, for the most part, the investigative and police procedures seem credible, though there were a few points at which I had to suspend belief (I won’t give spoilers).  In a crowded market I guess it’s difficult to find a niche and produce something truly original (and I'm as guilty of that in my own writing as anyone).  That said, Corso is a fairly interesting lead character, as the tired, jaded, cynical former journalist who lives a loner life on a boat.  Overall, an enjoyable read that runs with the pack. 

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob - Thanks for this excellent review. I understand what you mean about the issues with suspending disbelief, too. Sometimes, a story can still work quite well. Other times, not so much. I'm glad you found this enjoyable.