Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors

4.1 15
by Ryan David Jahn, Paul Costanzo
     
 

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A compulsively readable debut crime novel inspired by the legendary real-life murder of Kitty Genovese.

Overview

A compulsively readable debut crime novel inspired by the legendary real-life murder of Kitty Genovese.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For his crime novel debut (which won the CWA John Creasy Dagger Award), Jahn fictionalizes the horrific 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, whose cries for help during a lengthy stabbing assault went unanswered, but the execution falls a bit short of the intriguing concept. When Katrina Marino returns late one night to her Queens apartment complex from her bar job, a man attacks her in the building's courtyard with a knife. Kat's neighbors hear her screams, but no one bothers to call the police, assuming someone else already has. The intersection of the lives of the people who witness the crime will call to mind films such as Crash, but some readers will wish that the author had explored what led to their fatal indifference. The horror of their apathy occasionally comes through—as when one character turns from his window to mix a drink—but given the raw material to work with, the overall impact is less disturbing than it could have been. (June)
From the Publisher
"Debut novelist Jahn inhabits these people and their problems so completely and convincingly that they don't seem like monsters even as they ignore the woman who's dying only a few yards away." —Kirkus
Kirkus Reviews

A darkly powerful fictionalization of the last two hours in the life of Kitty Genovese, attacked and killed outside her New York apartment in the early morning hours of March 13, 1964, while her neighbors did nothing.

Only steps from her door in a typical Queens neighborhood, Katrina Marino, 28, returning from her job as night manager of a sports bar, is stabbed by an unknown man. Kat is a fighter, and she doesn't take the assault lying down. She fights back; she screams; she begs her neighbors in the building for help. Although four different people hear her and consider phoning the police, none of them does, simply because they're all so involved with their own problems. Patrick Donaldson weighs how to tell his bedridden mother that he's been drafted. Diane Myers waits to confront her husband Larry about his obvious adultery. Thomas Marlowe, Larry's bowling teammate, contemplates suicide. Peter and Anne Adams indulge in their first taste of spouse-swapping with Ron and Bettie Paulson. Frank Riva, terrified that his wife Erin may have struck a child with her car, sets off to see what he can learn. Emergency Medical Technician David White catches up with the molester who abused him as a child. Officer Alan Kees takes steps to deal with an extortionist. Debut novelist Jahn inhabits these people and their problems so completely and convincingly that they don't seem like monsters even as they ignore the woman who's dying only a few yards away.

Since Kat Marino is, for better or worse, the least-interesting person here, it's well worth watching to see what Jahn can do in a novel that isn't based on a real-life person.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452652832
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
06/08/2011
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Debut novelist Jahn inhabits these people and their problems so completely and convincingly that they don't seem like monsters even as they ignore the woman who's dying only a few yards away." —-Kirkus

Meet the Author

Ryan David Jahn grew up in Arizona, Texas, and California. He finished school at sixteen, worked several odd jobs, and spent time in the army before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked in television and film for several years. His first novel, Good Neighbors, won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger Award, and his novel The Dispatcher was longlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. Translation rights to his books have been sold in twelve languages. Jahn lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Matilda and Francine.

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Good Neighbors 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Avidreader282 More than 1 year ago
I came upon this novel by accident. What a great accident it turned out to be! I read it in one day, I could not put it down. I was researching the true story of Kitty Genovese who in 1963 was stabbed to death outside of her apartment building in NYC while her neighbors looked on and did nothing to help. This story is loosley based on the horrific events that took place that night. The author gives us glimpses into the lives of the neighbors who witness this happening but are too absorbed by their own infidelities, sexuality, possible crimes and more to think about getting involved.. Everyone has a secret and getting involved might uncover too much of what is happening in their own lives. Read this novel!
susanryan2 More than 1 year ago
i honestly could not put it down.
Susan Conlan More than 1 year ago
Almost a short story, the novel lets the reader into the homes, minds, and psychoses of singularly deranged (helpfully enabled) neighbors of "Kat", who on this evening is being stabbed, raped and is shrieking for help as long as she is able. Her attacker returns to do more damage, a remarkable Three times after going home to clean the blood off his boots and attempt to make love to his wife. (She refuses; he later states Kat would be alive if not for her refusal.) This may remind some of the similar murder of Kitty Genovese. Most of us searched our consciences and decided We had a moral touchstone to do all we could to protect the helpless and/or staunch the worst of the worst. But what of the middling masses? "I just don't want to get Involved" - those name-saving masses who just might have saved the day! My criticism of the book is not to have touched on this malignant group at all - those who heard the Screams but continued to make love, breakfast, or catch the all-important eight hours. A daring novel to take on so long after the train left the station. Wonder if the author, like me, has every so often pondered who had the preponderance of blame in the death of "Kat" ("Kitty") - the rapist who struck the angry, deep knife slices, or the citizens who did nothing to stop them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much I could not put it down The characters felt real, and the book was well paced
Amber-Renae More than 1 year ago
This book is gripping in the same sense as the other book I've read by this author (The Dispatcher). I loved the realistic flow and ending, appreciating the characters so clearly revealing human nature, all in their own unique ways. I read straight through in a single day, not wanting to put it down.
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jasoninsd More than 1 year ago
I found it exceptionally boring and of course I wanted to like it, that's why I picked it up! But none of the characters seemed to have much development and the writing was certainly on the amateur side of things. I have renewed respect for the quality of writing in chicklit. YAWN.
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Olivia Miller More than 1 year ago
This+book+was+entertaining%2C+and+a+total+page+turner%21+I+loved+it+so+much%2C+i+recommend+it+to+everyone%21+I+wanted+to+read+it+again+and+again%21%21%21+A+great+mystery+overall.+++%3A-%29