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Callous by T. K. Kenyon
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Callous

by T. K. Kenyon

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Just to be fair, I gave Ms. Kenyon's second book a try. I thought to myself, no one with a Master's from the Iowa Writer's Workshop can write this badly, twice. Well, I was wrong. This book was even worse than her first opus, RABID. Ridiculously stereotyped and inhuman characters, a grotesquely tangled plot, and what seems to be a complete lack of knowledge about basic police and judicial procedures made this work an even worse book than her first. I read aloud some passages of this book and Ms. Kenyon's previous work to my students. One of them said, after looking at the author's glowingly self-congratulatory page at the end of Callous, "Well, the lady may be a brilliant scientist, but she should stay away from trying to write fiction." I couldn't agree more. Save your money and your time. Read a different book. ( )
  RachelfromSarasota | Jul 10, 2008 |
What is it about small towns? Are they magnets for outrageous murderers or what? Or, maybe it's just TK Kenyon's over-active but well-expressed imagination that makes you want to look inside the brain of every slow-talkin' hayseed you meet to see if there's mayhem lurking around somewhere in there.

Like Kenyon's first novel, Rabid, this one draws convoluted lines of battle between science and religion. There is also a big dose of small-town intrigue and some really smart law enforcement folks, although you don't always notice that right away. Kenyon has a way of painting vivid characters with a broad brush, although she also keeps a few character traits in reserve to keep things interesting.

The book starts conventionally enough, with the disappearance of Ester, the adult daughter of a rancher in Texas. Chief Deputy Max, an old-fashioned cop if there ever was one, is on the case with his wife, County DA Diane, who is a secret Bible reader. You can't have a murder mystery these days without forensics, either, so Ester's childhood friend Vanessa carries on that theme.

The tension and suspense build throughout the book, which makes it a tempting one-sitting read. If you get hooked on it, though, take time to enjoy Kenyon's characters, who offer a lot of detail to study. There's an unconventional ending, too, but I better not say anymore about that. ( )
  davedonelson | Jun 3, 2008 |
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"A fictional exploration of small town paranoia inspired by fear, false memory and confession and mob psychology juxtapositioned against religious fervor"--Provided by publisher.

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