Robby, the R-Word

Leif M. Wright. Promontory (New Leaf, U.S. dist.), $17.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-987857-71-9
Wright’s (Minister of Justice) police procedural has a lot going for it: a complicated plot featuring a string of strangely related attacks; Robby Turner, a brilliant man who has been completely paralyzed for decades; a captivating, if scatological, beginning; and Detective Bain, who has enough politics to deal with and sufficient amounts of the underdog about her to put the reader in her corner. More importantly, the plot has enough twists, turns, and unearthing of unexpected connections between the characters to keep readers guessing who’s responsible for beating Robby’s father and other similar attacks. Unfortunately, the author has marred what is otherwise a really fine story by dropping in a graphic sex scene between Bain and Jessica Vann, a woman whom she meets in the course of the investigation. Jessica only briefly reappears in the novel to be ogled by Bain’s male partner Officer Russell, which makes the whole affair seem like a gratuitous performance piece written as a male fantasy. The book could otherwise be a satisfying read for a wider audience, albeit one that is prepared for coarse language and graphic violence throughout. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
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