Go to Homepage   Jan Rehner: Just Murder


Crescent Blues Book ViewsSumach Press (Trade Paperback), ISBN 1-894549-22-8

I love a good mystery. I curl up and escape into a world where I know that good will always triumph and that the baddies will suffer their comeuppance before I close the covers for the last time. I lay such a book aside with a renewed faith in the notion that justice can prevail in our world.

Book: jan rehner, just murder
But Jan Rehner's excellent murder mystery made an unprincipled woman of me. I read it cheering a murderer on, hoping that a killer would kill again (and soon!) I flipped the pages as fast as I could read -- not so much to find out who s/he might be, but to learn whether s/he would successfully elude the law.

Just Murder's gripping suspense story revolves around the very real and widespread occurrence of physical and sexual abuse of women. A child pornographer, a serial rapist and an unethical doctor each own enough money, influence or prestige to be able to escape any retribution that the legal system might intend to mete out to them. So if they receive their just deserts through some other agency, then surely justice triumphs after all -- or not? If a few people take the law into their own hands so as to accord justice where the legal system could not, to what extent then are they guilty of wrongdoing? Hence the subtle duality of meaning in the book's title.

Not simple nor easy questions to answer. Rehner seems to recognize this. She doesn't attempt to resolve the questions so much as to invite her readers to engage with the issues and to weigh the problems for themselves. A thought-provoking book -- I particularly enjoyed the way the author presented her examination of serious social problems through the medium of a so very readable work of fiction.

Moira Richards

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