Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it. Thank you. vmls
On the surface one might think The Pure and The Hated a simple straight-forward tale of loss and the serendipitous crossing of paths with psychopath.
One might think that… one who was not familiar with the writings of Richard Godwin.
There is nothing ‘simple’ in the tales Richard puts to paper.
Shepard Butler lost his son in a hunting accident several years ago and with that loss also came the loss of self and a distancing between him and his wife, Mary. A ‘gap’, if you will, in their relationship neither seems able to close.
Grief can be an incredibly destructive force.
Shepard is also a man whose past is about to catch up with him.
With a vengeance.
Temple Jones is a psychopath. Of that there can be no doubt. But he is more than just a cold-blooded, sadistic killer. The psychopath usually targets a ‘type’, not a specific individual; but not so with Temple Jones. The psychology of Jones, like that of many of the characters Richard creates, is never ‘textbook’ and in Temple Jones the author remains true to his style in bringing to life a character both fascinating and frightening.
The Pure and The Hated is a taut drama set in the Vermont woods. Moody and atmospheric – I could almost hear the crunch of footsteps in the snow – Richard’s latest offering is somewhat of a departure from the dark psychological/horror urban thrillers he does so well, with nothing lost in the translation. There is a poignancy to The Pure and The Hated so subtle as to almost be an undercurrent in the story. The themes of loss, revenge, forgiveness, redemption are explored with a profoundness and sometimes brutal honesty that will be familiar, and welcome, to fans of the author
Some lesser writers overuse plot twists to the point of cliche.
Not so Richard Godwin.
The twists in this dark little morality play are timed perfectly and executed with chilling certainty. This is ‘trademark’ Godwin and just one more reason his stories are so compelling and memorable.
The ‘duality’ of man is well on display here as Shepard battles not only with a ruthless killer but the man he himself is and the man he wants to be; the need to punish and to be punished. The desire for forgiveness and the need to carry the burden of guilt;
As Shepard delves deeper and deeper into the mystery of the man bent on destroying his family, he has to come to terms with his own past and how his actions then planted a seed that has now come to fruition.
With deadly fury.
The Pure and The Hated offers a view in to the soul of a man… and the monster he has wrought. Richard Godwin weaves a tale that captivates and draws the reader in from the first page, often times leaving the reader in fearful anticipation of what will come next, but unable to put the book down.
Not for the faint of heart, but then what of this author’s vast repertoire is?, I recommend The Pure and The Hated without hesitation.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
8 May 2016