Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Safehouse

The Safehouse by T. Thomas Ackerman (Denver: Outskirts Press, 2011). Review copy provided by author.

Having herself escaped an abusive relationship, Detective Jessie Warren feels a special mandate to advocate for victims of domestic violence.  She uses her community connections at the shelter to give women a means of escape, and if necessary, she knows of an additional safety net for them--a secret safehouse whose location she alone on the police department knows.  Most of her colleagues respect her, but one internal affairs officer seems bent on undermining her, and her own sergeant seems concerned as well when a few too many of the principals in Jessie's investigations meet terrible ends.

The premise for this novel is excellent, but it sadly misses the mark in execution.  Jessie's character is flat and the writing is largely bland, with far too much telling and not enough showing. The plot lurches disconnectedly at first, and much of the dialogue is stiff while descriptions are sparse.  Worse, the vigilante justice imposed at the safehouse is horrifying.  Some might argue that perpetrators of domestic abuse deserve what they get, but as a police officer Jessie should not be abetting such violence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mary! What a provocative set up - for a former victim of domestic violence forced to investigate crimes against abusers. Too bad the execution was off.

New follower~

Stephanie ~Misfit Salon~