Top critical review
Porn with a half-plot?
on 13 June 2014
We rented a holiday home in Western Crete last week but one, and Beverly Barton's "Amnesia" was one of the books in the shelf, useful for that moment when one's own holiday reading is exhausted.
The larger than larger than life central character in this serial-killer thriller is the Latino rags-to-riches lawyer Quinn Cortez, whose magnetism towards women is so powerful that not a single one that he meets in the entire novel fails to prostrate herself to him at first sight. Even highly intelligent women - for example his own lawyer after the first murder victim is found - sees no problem in having her client move in with her, whereupon she gets sexually involved and ... is then murdered.
Throughout the book, we are treated to that repetitive sequence animal attractiveness smiting women, who then physically succumb and are promptly extinguished by a mysterious figure who uncannily resembles Cortez. The sex scenes that precede the murders are all done in a dry, pornographic and male-oriented manner, casting all women as weaklings who go all weak-kneed and surrender, and do not seem to have any discernible desires except to be wanted by Cortez! Even the sophisticated Southern Annabelle.
Besides the sex and murder, all other characters are either stereotypical sketches of cops and detectives, or very undeveloped figures around Cortez. The killer eventually turns out to be from Cortez's own legal office, and is driven by envy and a family connection I will not reveal. Unfortunately, the discerning reader will long have guessed the clues, simply because of the vagueness that the author creates around the employees that Cortez has in his office, all three plucked out of destitute homes and potentially violent.
This was another piece of pulp-fiction with hard-core porno scenes. It is a once-only read, the kind you'd find in the temporary home that a vacation rental is.