The Girl from Hateville by Gil Brewer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This one is such a mess it is almost incomprehensible how it got published in this fashion. Even if it is a one of Brewer's first-draft-written-in-three-days novels, the lack of editing is astounding. The basic plot line is that Al Harper returns to his home town after being away for eight years only to find that everyone hates him because his father, the town's banker, apparently cleaned out the bank vault with everyone's savings before committing suicide and leaving everyone to default on mortgages etc. That plot line has some truck as it puts Harper in harms way immediately after he hits town. From that point on, though, the writing is chaotic. Too many characters just start showing up for no reason and Harper starts doing one thing and then changes to doing something else in mid-course for reasons unexplained. The best writing is found in the scenes where Al is getting the crap beat out of him, and there are three or four of those scenes, so Brewer was on his game for those at least. The novel could have been OK with a decent edit, but it would have taken a complete rewrite to get it up to the level of Brewer's other novels.
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