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The Violet Hour by Daniel Judson
Cover Artist: Photo/Illustration: Steve Gardner
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312383572
Date: 13 October 2009 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Cal Rakowski is a twenty-two-year-old mechanic who lives in an apartment above a garage in Bridgehampton Village on Long Island. It is Halloween and he finds himself involved with four beautiful women. Heather is a pregnant friend, Cal is hiding from her wealthy, abusive husband, Ronnie Pamona. Amanda is Heather's wayward half-sister. Cal picks Amanda up from Shelter Island, unaware that Ronnie is using her to track Heather. Eve is a hired assassin who wants to torture Cal in hopes of learning some invaluable information about one of his coworkers, a former "body man" who disposed of corpses for the mob. Angelica is a wealthy socialite who helps Cal protect this former body man from detectives, FBI agents, mobsters, and Eve. Needless to say, Cal may not live to see another Halloween.

Daniel Judson's The Violet Hour is a relentless, sadistic thriller that is perfect for late night reading, especially during Halloween. The setting and season are perfect. The Hamptons of Long Island is a frolicking resort during the Summer, however, come late Fall, it is cold, dreary and desolate. Halloween adds a touch of spookiness. The deserted streets provide a superb background for criminal activity.

An orphan, Cal has never felt so alone, especially when he learns his friends aren't who they pretend to be. I kept thinking that he needed to be more careful in choosing them. Your friends can get you killed. Cal is a likeable young man who truly endeavors to protect his friends. I couldn't help but feel sympathy for this scrawny, but tough, underdog. He is a young David who must battle some evil Goliaths. This novel has some of the most despicable, evil characters I've ever read. Eve tops the list; she highly enjoys and is very good at performing a "torture and kill".

Certain scenes of brutal, graphic violence made me squeamish and reminded me of the screenplays written by Quentin Tarantino. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading The Violet Hour because it is an incredible action adventure with plenty of surprises. Fast paced, the story takes place during three days which become a living nightmare for Cal. The body count is relatively high, especially towards the end when nearly all the characters are slaughtered. Someone wants to make sure there are no loose ends.

Famous for his dark, violent mysteries set on Long Island, Daniel Judson has also written The Water's Edge, The Darkest Place, The Bone Orchard, and The Poisoned Rose. If you enjoy reading violent crime dramas, you may want to read Jim Kelly's Death Wore White, Stuart Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast, and Roy Chaney's The Ragged End of Nowhere: A Novel.

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