Review: "The Violated" by Bill Pronzini

Santa Rita is a small town with a big city problem: a serial rapist is working its streets. When the prime suspect for the rapes, Martin Torrey, is murdered – a bullet to the back of his head and two postmortem shots to his groin – the rape investigation appears to have been solved by a vigilante murder. Martin’s death is good news for most of Santa Rita’s residents, even his wife feels some guilty relief, and the investigation into his murder is going nowhere fast as the embattled Sheriff, Griffin Kells, is still trying to close the books on the rapes, since there was never enough evidence to Torrey, and Torrey’s brutal murder.
      With The Violated, Bill Pronzini uses a progressive, and difficult to pull off, story-telling technique: each character, both major and minor, speak in first person narration from chapter to chapter. It gives the story an emotional power, from the stress and anxiety the investigating officers feel to the raw fear and rage of the victims, that would otherwise be impossible to capture. It slows the story’s pace, which, since the novel is a character-driven police procedural, is less critical than it would be with a plot-driven, action-oriented novel. A soulless mayor with political ambitions and a meth dealer adds enough intrigue to keep everything moving until the final climactic twist.

a little more about The Violated and Bill Pronzini

·         The Violated was published by Bloomsbury in 2017 as a hardcover and in ebook formats.

·         Bill Pronzini is best known as the author of the long-running Nameless Detective private eye novels. According to Goodreads there are 40 novels in the series. The first, The Snatch, appeared in 1971 and the most recent, Endgame, in 2017. There have been at least three Nameless story collections, too: Spadework (1994), Scenarios (2003), and Zigzag (2016).

·         Bill Pronzini was born in Petaluma, California on April 13, 1943, to Joseph and Helena Pronzini. He worked for the Petaluma Argus-Courier as a reporter. His first novel, The Stalker, was published in 1971. He has been married to crime novelist Marcia Muller since 1992.

·         My favorite of Pronzini’s novels are: Blue Lonesome (1995), Nothing but the Night (1999), Step to the Graveyard Easy (2002), and The Crimes of Jordan Wise (2006). As you can tell, Im partial to his standalone efforts, but I enjoy his Nameless Detective books, too.

Take a look at Amazon’s page for The Violated.



  1. Thanks for the reminder of another one sat on the TBR pile for a bit too long. I also need to get back to his Nameless series, but there's just never enough time!

    1. That's the truth: Never. Enough. Time. I picked up Pronzini's 2013 Nameless novel, Nemesis, yesterday. Now I have to clear reading space for it.


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