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Acid Row

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Acid Row.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Minette Walters(Author)

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Acid Row is a crime-infested housing project that exists by its own laws. When news comes that a child has been kidnapped, the frustration and anger that has been seething on the streets of Acid Row is ignited. And no one will be safe.

Ever since she won an Edgar back in 1993, Walters has continually worked outside the standard boundaries of crime drama. Psychological suspense may be the best tagline for her novels, but it still doesn't quite catch her tenor. Her heroes, for example, are anything but moody, disagreeable. Her dialogue wanders and stews and then jabs like a bayonet. Her plots often evolve out of sequence. She simply won't walk the line and she's confoundingly good at taking liberties. Here, Walters transports readers to Acid Row, a dungeon of a housing project in a London suburb populated by single mothers, fatherless children, criminals fresh from prison, gangs and the helpless elderly. It's a community, however, bonded in its destitution, suspicious and unwelcoming of outsiders. When word leaks out that the government has placed a pedophile in No. 23, the beleaguered residents begin to simmer. Then, when a 10-year-old girl goes missing, Acid Row explodes into open revolt. With frightening clarity, Walters breaks down the daylong riot into recurring vignettes. There's the anguish of Sophie Morrison, a young doctor taken hostage by the pedophile and his vicious father; swaggering ex-con Jimmy James, who rises to the occasion with bursts of reluctant heroism; the cowering police and their pathetic attempts at restoring order; and the evasive parents of Amy Biddulph, the little girl nobody can find. Walters (The Shape of Snakes; Edgar-winning The Sculptress) pulls it all off with rhythmic brilliance, the narrative flowing smoothly. Again, she demonstrates her eye for the sociological and psychological avalanche provoked by human temptation and people living in cramped quarters. With her eighth novel, Walters continues to navigate literary pathways few have ventured down before her. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. A young doctor enters Acid Row, a dank housing project, and finds herself in the clutches of a dangerous pedophile.Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • Minette Walters(Author)
  • Allen & Unwin; First Edition edition (2001)
  • English
  • 8
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Guest on October 27, 2017

    This could have been a very exciting and deep psycho thriller. We're promised a story about a young doctor who is stuck in a besieged house with a registered pedophile, while people outside want to lynch the guy, because they suspect him of having abducted a little girl.Imagine the inner turmoil! Imagine the doctor trying to survive AND figure out if the pedophile really has that little girl locked away somewhere, AND having to rely on him at the same time and seing him as a human being! What a potential for inner conflict.Well, none of that happens in this book.Instead we get a big steaming pile of clichees.1. the doctor just HAPPENS to look like a prepubescent girl (...what??)2. The pedophile is a big wuss who can't tie his own shoelaces, because3. his evil father (over 70) is there with them, and of course HE's the real villain, and of course he repeatedly tries to rape the doctor who looks like a pre-pubescent girl.4. And of course he also sexually abused his son, so his son Wussy Pedobear grew up to be a man who can't tie his own shoelaces or make his own decisions (...what??!)5. It's totally obvious from the start that no-one in this storyline has anything to do with the vanishing of the little girl. Sorry, no burning questions there. The only interesting question is "is Doctor Lolita going to get raped or not?"6. Oh, and Evil Dad also murdered his own wife, which Doctor Lolita figures out via... wait for it... female intuition!The rest of the book is populated by White Trash stock characters. To be honest, they were so boring that I simply skipped those parts.In the end, it turns out that the little girl has really "vanished" herself because she's an unthinking brat. That was a nice touch, so Walters gets a star for that. Everything else is clicheed and over-the-top.What a waste of a really good set-up! Unfortunately, Walters often ends up wasting good ideas in favour of sensationalism.

  • By ladiesbane on June 12, 2011

    After having adored five other books by this writer, I was saving Acid Row for a treat. Each book she writes is different, but reliably high quality in terms of pacing, structure, characters, and plot elements, and there is always a very satisfying payoff. This book was a major disappointment in each of these areas and more.Interesting folks (good and bad) were created and set aside. Intrigues were established and never developed. Most words were spent on pasteboard characters, and even they didn't do much or interact believably. The police involvement in both story lines was spotty and dubious. Race and class characterizations were extremely clumsy and simplistic, as were the criminals themselves. Some jarringly anachronistic media/culture references played a significant role. Also: Walters usually adds a leavening of grace, humor, romance, or beauty. If they were here, they were atrophied. All were missed.Instead of introducing a moral dilemma and plot points to lead the reader to a logical conclusion, one point was made by ham-handed hammering, and the other might have been believable with clarification that was never provided. Many of the psychological points were either incorrect or poorly made, resulting in more unsupported moralizing. Unforgivably, the trigger-heavy matters were handled in a blithe, callous fashion. But even someone not specifically vulnerable might loathe heavy-handed moralization and flippant attitudes applied to the same subject. It's inconsistent and hard to follow. (Sorry for the vague references, but I'm avoiding spoilers.)Usually, one would build a situation and allow it to simmer over time. Here, most of the events occur over a few hours. The riot (mentioned on the cover) is not cohesively described and turns into a confused slog. Because there is not enough groundwork, and no time to build tension, we don't develop a commitment to certain characters and their outcomes. We have no reason to care. At best we have mild curiosity, and dogged hope that we'll latch on to a person whose story will be told, and that the story will matter, but that never happens. The parallel story line is only minimally related to the riot plot. Making the *lack* of overlap a plot point is a mistake; instead of being an interesting twist, its merely a diversion from the main action. It's just so many more dead ends and pointless beginnings and characters we don't care about.Worst of all is the total lack of payoff. The many minor open threads and possible intrigues are left unresolved. The characters we know best are abandoned, except for one who is given a tired, unrealistic final scene.So: imagine tearing out ten pages toward the end of a book. Discard the thick beginning and the rich ending, and add a ton of confused fragments. Acid Row is the result. Trade this stinker back to the bookstore and get one of her earlier novels, which are brilliant, re-readable classics.

  • By Dianne Foster on September 18, 2002

    ACID ROW by Minette Walters is a fast-paced but dreary novel sans character development, a vexing deficiency for one who prefers the psychological aspects of crime which can only be presented from a personal perspective. Walters strength in her earlier novels, including THE ICE HOUSE and THE SCULPTRESS, lay in her ability to portray the thought processes of the main characters with a good deal of verisimilitude, even while hiding pertinent information in plain sight. In addition, her historical focus in other books has allowed me to understand the careful reconstruction of events by a main protagonist.Walters' narrative in ACID ROW rotates among three "protagonists" - a female doctor named Sophie, an ex-con called Jimmy, and Inspector Tyler of the police. None of these "main" characters is adequately developed, although Walters provides a good deal of superfluous information about each of them. All of them talk too much, particularly the female doctor. In addition to the poorly developed main players, Walters has included a cast of secondary and tertiary characters who only add to the diffuseness of the narrative. In the end, I found that I did not care what happened to a single one of the characters.The two story lines-one involving the disappearance of a 10-year old child, the other a neighborhood mob reaction to a newly resident sex-offender ex-con-have some tangential connections. Both involve too many perverts of one sort or another, and Walters spends far too much time "making excuses" for their demented behavior. One clue to Walter's obtuseness on the subject of sexual predators is voiced by a character who suggests teen age pregnancies are the result of young female seducers. Excuse me?? Research shows that most teenage girls become pregnant by a much older man. Too frequently, the male is a relative. Get real Walters. Save your sympathy for the real victims.


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