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Acts of Violence

Acts of Violence [Kindle Edition]

Ryan David Jahn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Dark, compelling and powerful; this is a book of real substance. Ryan David Jahn is a rare and fine talent.'
-- R. J. Ellory

Product Description

Katrina Marino is about to become America’s most infamous murder victim. This is Katrina’s story, and the story of her killer. It is also the story of Katrina’s neighbours, those who witnessed her murder and did nothing: the terrified Vietnam draftee; the woman who thinks she’s killed a child, and her husband who will risk everything for the truth; the former soldier planning suicide and the man who saves him. And others whose lives are touched by the crime: the elderly teacher whose past is catching up with him; the amateur blackmailer who’s about to find out just what sort of people he’s been threatening; the corrupt cop who believes he is God’s ‘red right hand’. Shocking and compassionate, angry and gripping, ACTS OF VIOLENCE is a sprawling, cinematic tour-de-force, a terrifying crime novel unlike any other.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 511 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0230743595
  • Publisher: Pan Books (2 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,186 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ryan David Jahn grew up in Arizona, Texas, and California. He finished school at sixteen, worked several odd jobs, and spent time in the army before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked in television and film for several years.

He published his first novel, the CWA John Creasey Dagger winning Acts of Violence, in 2009, and has since published three others, Low Life, The Dispatcher, which was long-listed for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and The Last Tomorrow. Translation rights to his works have been sold in twelve languages.

He now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife Jessica, a beautiful four year old named Matilda, and two dogs, Truman and Paul.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Katrina Marino works in a bar. Late one night on her way home from work she is brutally attacked outside her apartment building. Hearing her screams, her neighbours flock to their windows and look out at the assault. But they are all too busy with their own problems and quickly forget about Kat, slowly bleeding to death outside. Each assumes someone will have called the police, but no one does, leaving the seriously injured girl alone and at the mercy of her vicious attacker.

This is a very powerful and disturbing book, which stayed with me long after I had finished it. The story becomes all the more horrific when you realise that it is actually based on a true crime, where 38 people allegedly witnessed a woman being murdered and did nothing. Jahn's writing is brilliant, fluid and poetic and simple. He switches perspective with each chapter, jumping from character to character as the night unfolds. The book deals with so many serious and moral issues: euthanasia, war, racism, corruption, homophobia, paedophilia, wife swapping... it seems that none of humanity's darkest facets are left untouched.

And none of his characters are blameless. Anyone in the book could have saved Kat, just by picking up the phone. The chapters that take her POV are extremely moving, as she laments that she just wanted a hot bath after a long shift at work, but she is dragged away from her door by a strange man who is loitering in the night and made to suffer an appalling ordeal. The attacker is also given his own chapters, which makes his crime all the more disturbing, as we understand his desires and motivations.

Whilst horrible, this novel is extremely compelling and I read it in one sitting in a couple of hours. It is thought provoking and certainly made me question what my own reaction would be to witnessing a crime of this nature. A sad indictment of human nature - read it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happens when good people do nothing! 26 April 2010
By E. Heckingbottom TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in 1964, this is the story of a death - a particularly horrendous death and of the reactions of those who witnessed it.

The initial attack on Katrina Marino was observed by many of her neighbours, brought to their windows by her screams; however, for their own reasons, nobody did anything. Although they saw the attack, safe inside their cosy homes, they all had a reason for not wanting to call the police out. Everyone thought that someone else would do something: everyone left it to someone else and, in the end, they all became complicit in the murder of a young waitress.

All the characters are all well drawn out, from the sleazy, corrupt cop to the woman who is worried that she may have killed a child, and their stories are intriguing. You are left wondering what will happen to them all!

An intriguing book - I can't help but hope for a sequel and will certainly be looking for other books by this author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a dazzling novel. Don't start it unless you can devote the whole evening to it. The force of the narrative drags you into half a dozen compelling human stories; interwoven and parallel lives which are all at a turning point during one early morning.
The crisp writing and tightly plotted chapters drive you through it at a relentless pace: you really won't want to stop reading until you find out what happens to each character as they confront a pivotal moment and emerge forever altered by the experience.
This book feels very much like one of those blockbuster montage movies, where intertwined threads weave back and forth en route towards an almightly climax. In this case the action is set in mid-America, in the early 1960s. The main theme involves a savage attack on a young woman but although that is sold as the central narrative there is plenty else going on in here too; being drafted for Vietnam, wife-swapping and all its consequences, what happens when an abused child grows up, racism and police corruption, being chronically ill, the loneliness which can lead to suicide, taking the step from boyhood to manhood, acknowledging an unspoken sexual desire and more -- oh, there's heaps more.
It's as if author RD Jahn has done his best to cram every ounce of the human condition into this one novel, and he's come scarily close to achieving that goal. For the characters also display compassion, fidelity and mercy; it's not all entirely grim.

You may find in the opening chapters that you are a little bewildered about who all the different people are, because each segment hops between scenes and people and there's some real stunt-writing with the timeline too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not one to restore your faith in humankind! 18 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This novel is a very powerful, well-written piece of work and pretty bleak stuff, covering as it does a range of humankind's worst aspects; on offer here we have adultery, assisted suicide, blackmail, wife-swapping, police corruption, child abuse, racism and of course rape and murder, which is what the story centres around.

Most of these things take place in a development of flats in the course of one night and there are occasional glimpses of goodness in this sea of sin, the character of Frank being the prime example, together with the two men who 'find' each other and hopefully happiness. I found the optimism of Kat particularly upsetting and what happens to her is a truly horrific sequence of events, completely outside of her control.

Short, punchy chapters keep you turning the pages and you really can't put this down. This novel simply a snapshot in time with no real conclusions or tidy endings, but a short way into the book you feel as if you know the characters very well and in a very intimate way. The fact it's based on a true event adds to the power and the people's actions seem very real, making you imagine how you'd react in a similar situation...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic New Writer
Cannot get enough of these books and once I start I just do not want to put it down. Totally gripping, beautifully written and really unusual. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steff
4.0 out of 5 stars Like the style
Most novels have a timeline which they follow. This one doesn't and is much the better for it. A number of violent acts are seen over and over again from the perspective of the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dick Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Great read! Really enjoyed this book, a little different from the norm and all the better for it. Highly recommended.
Published 5 months ago by Beverley Checkley
3.0 out of 5 stars Anti climax
This book tells the story of multiple people on one particular night. It was a good that I enjoyed but it wasn't particularly memorable. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Zoe
2.0 out of 5 stars An extended short story
I had to force myself to complete this book, none of the character s are particularly interesting or appealing.

The outcome was predictable and narrative rambling
Published 8 months ago by Cathy
3.0 out of 5 stars Screams in the Urban Wilderness
Kat is a night manager of a bar. She leaves work one night and returns to her apartment block. She is attacked and almost killed - her neighbours ignore her screams. Read more
Published 11 months ago by gerardpeter
5.0 out of 5 stars acts of violence book
its my sort of book i like to read. also the book got here very quick,was packaged well no damage.
Published 14 months ago by sophie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
One of the best books I have read in a long, long time. The story grips you from the very first pages and then drags you on a roller-coaster until the end.
Published 17 months ago by C. Harland
4.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic start...
First impressions are great. The glossy bloody handprint on the cover, then the first few pages were both shocking and intriguing. Read more
Published 20 months ago by ratstails
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I have to admit I bought this book on the strength of seeing a good review of Jahn's other book The Dispatcher. Read more
Published on 29 Feb 2012 by Rosscumming05
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