Act of Rage

Joseph Arnold Hayes, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (356p) ISBN 978-0-312-03271-5
A suburban wife and mother is violently raped in the woods near her placid Connecticut town by an unidentified assailant, and in the course of her pursuit of justice, suspicion begins to fall on many of her close friends, acquaintances, and even on her husband. Police chief Henry Lindheim, an ex-New York cop, becomes emotionally involved in the hunt for Carole Jensen's attacker, finding his own salvation in the process. Hayes's ( Des per ate Hours ) 13th novel is a psychological thriller that unfortunately fails to achieve a gripping intensity because the behavior of his protagonist doesn't ring true. Carole Jensen's actions while in an emotionally unhinged state never seem inevitable--or even likely. Although it is sprinkled with some interesting secondary characters and makes some provocative suggestions about the deviant sexual mores of seemingly respectable suburbanites, much of the plot relies on contrived events and stagey dialogue to tell the story of Jensen's near-mental collapse and to recount the tale of the hard-boiled cop who begins ``to feel again'' because of his love for her. In addition, shaky transitions, instead of heightening tension, undercut many climactic scenes. It's almost as though Hayes wrote the novel with a screenplay in mind. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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