The True Detective by Theodore Weesner
Pages: 540 Pages
Source: Received Copy from Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review
In the sleepy confines of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Gil Dulac, a small town investigator, broods over a deteriorating city he’s grown to adopt as his own; a once proud city that’s been infested with a sexual pathology that—in its breadth of depravity—is breaking out like a pandemic. Increasingly feeling as if he’s a walking anachronism, Dulac wonders if it all passed him by, until a twelve-year-old boy is abducted; the crime sending the tight-knit community into a tailspin. Now, as the clock winds down to a horrifying conclusion, Dulac must use his wits and his experience to somehow find the boy alive.
The True Detective by Theodore Weesner is like one really long episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit minus the “non-existent” heat between Benson and Stabler. Oh and you know who the bad guy is from. the. beginning.
I blame myself for this. When I read the description that was sent to me, I assumed that the story would pick up post abduction and horrifying conclusion. I thought there would be some mystery for the reader. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This still isn’t what concerned me about the book. I was about 30% through the book and so very confused. Something to keep in mind here is that this is a reprinted book under a new publisher in anticipation of a new release from Weesner. The original book was published in 1988 and set in 1981. Through the first part of the book we are introduced to the abductor. He is a very shy, socially dysfunctional young adult who has recently been rejected by his younger gay partner. The thing that kept going through my mind (this is open to my interpretation and may not be what was intended) is that the message was “he’s a child molester because he’s gay”. It was always mentioned that he was gay and a child molester. The two are clearly very different. It isn’t until much later in the book that this distinction is made. I remember looking at my husband and saying “I can’t review this! There’s no way that this is even appropriate.” I think it was that back in the 80s being publicly gay was still a new experience for everyone, gay and straight alike, and that the attitude was not as it is today. (Does that even make sense?) Reading a book in 2012 that was set and written in the 80s, primarily about the new wave in pedophiles and involving the gay community, I never really shook that feeling.
There were also a lot of smaller reasons that this book just did not do it for me. There are a lot of sexual scenes in this book. I read romance, I’m okay if a book gets a little steamy. Almost every single one of these scenes is in no way romantic sex. Just off the top of my head I can think of two scenes that are just this side of consensual. Gay scenes, child molestation (more than once), bondage including children, four or five scenes with oral sex, masturbation, and the list just went on and on. There was definitely too much information, both before and after, as far as the molestation of Eric Wells was concerned. It was enough to know what was done but we got the details. Yeah…. I won’t be forgetting about that for awhile.
Then to top it all off there were twenty+ words that were just wrong. There would be a letter off but it would change the whole word. After the first five or so instances I decided to try and keep a list. It got to be tedious quick. A few examples: Mate instead of Matt, hoy instead of boy, cats instead of cars, horns instead of hours, surt instead of sure. Normally, I wouldn’t even bring this up but the Kindle version is $5.79. It’s important to note that I received a review copy but I want to make sure that you’re aware in case you decide you want to give this book a go and I did indeed receive the same version available on Amazon.
After all the negatives that I’ve listed above how could I have still given this book 2.5 stars? I know, right? Despite all of the scenes that had me on the verge of being sick, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know how it ended. I wanted to know how certain characters reacted. I can’t even explain why but it did have me riveted. The low rating is because I can’t in good conscience recommend this to anyone but for me personally it did keep me glued to it through most of the book.