Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Book Review: Gardner F. Fox, Consider This Woman (1959)
Today Gardner F. Fox is remembered mostly as a prolific writer for DC Comics, but he was a prolific writer of fiction as well, including a number of titles for Gold Medal, mainly in the realm of historical fiction. Witness This Woman is a weak, though not incompetent, crime novel. The cover reads, "Was she faithless, a cheat? Kirwan didn't care--her testimony would make him the next District Attorney." Unfortunately, whoever wrote this cover copy seems not to have read the book. Assistant D.A. David Kirwin knows that he will have no trouble convicting the accused killer of Joe Farella, but the testimony of a woman has nothing to do with it. Furthermore, Kirwin may very well end up caring about more than just winning the case. The novel's plot centers around Kirwin's crisis of conscience: Is he willing to send a man to the electric chair if there is a 10% that the man is innocent? What if the conviction will put Kirwin on the fast-track to becoming governor? Regrettably, it is not worth reading the book to find out the answers to these questions. Grade: D
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.