I haven't done many book reviews here lately, and that's more or less by design. But I'm making an exception at the moment for an exceptional novel, Les Edgerton's THE RAPIST. It's a stunning piece of work by one of our best unsung novelists, and I very highly recommend it. Les asked me to do a blurb shortly before the novel came out, which I was happy to do. Here it is.
"With THE RAPIST, Les Edgerton has written the most bone-chilling, evocative, depraved and insightful novel of the year. Forget "hard-boiled", forget "noir", forget everything you think you know about what a genre story is supposed to be. THE RAPIST brushes all of that aside with a disdainful sneer and instead presents something that aspires to far more than any single genre can provide. More than anything else, this novel occupies the same uneasy space that Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground" rests in-- a controlled testament of misanthropy and delusion. But whereas the great Russian's protagonist was fueled by rage, Edgerton's narrator is fueled by a sharp, ugly narcissism, and a beastly inhuman nature that peeks like a stalker through his eloquent language and high-minded ideas. Not so much a plot-driven novel as a narrative, Edgerton guides us into the mind of his narrator and leaves us there alone to fend for ourselves and make our own way back from the darkness. How much of what Truman says can we dismiss as the ravings of a damaged mind? And how much must we stop and listen to, hunting for a glimmer of truth?
THE RAPIST is a challenging novel, not for the squeamish, and definitely not for anyone who dis-likes being pulled out of their comfort zone. It quite simply blew me away. Destined to be a classic."