A Very Simple Crime

( 22 )

Overview

A twisting debut novel of murder and dark family secrets from a riveting new voice in crime fiction.

A murdered woman. A grieving husband. And their son-a mentally handicapped adult with a history of violent outbursts. A very simple case. Or is it?

Leo Hewitt, an Assistant DA once blamed for setting free a notorious child-killer, is eager to redeem himself with this intimate and grisly crime. As he digs below the surface he discovers more than ...

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A Very Simple Crime

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Overview

A twisting debut novel of murder and dark family secrets from a riveting new voice in crime fiction.

A murdered woman. A grieving husband. And their son-a mentally handicapped adult with a history of violent outbursts. A very simple case. Or is it?

Leo Hewitt, an Assistant DA once blamed for setting free a notorious child-killer, is eager to redeem himself with this intimate and grisly crime. As he digs below the surface he discovers more than he ever anticipated-including an emotionally disturbed wife, a husband who'd do anything to escape his disastrous marriage, and an accused young man with no apparent means of defense. But with each shocking new revelation, Leo is only led deeper and deeper into the darkness-an inescapable trap of blood bonds and twisted family secrets.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Jerkins's disturbing debut, Adam Lee, a successful businessman but a total creep who's on trial for murdering his depressed wife, Rachel, tells the court he didn't kill her because "I loved my wife." Adam supposedly also loves Albert, their mentally retarded grown son, who was originally accused of fatally bashing his mother's head with a crystal ashtray. Since Albert, who was institutionalized for years but was free at the time of Rachel's murder, once killed a fellow patient in a dispute over a pair of socks, the police considered him a likely suspect. Former ADA Leo Hewitt, who lost his position after helping a child killer go free, uncovers some telling clues to the killer's identity. Meanwhile, Monty, Adam's attorney brother, knows a family secret that could change everything. Jerkins juggles his plot twists like a top circus acrobat in this nasty legal noir. (Nov.)
Patrick Anderson
If you're looking for people to like or a hero to root for, you won't find them here. These are unattractive individuals who do terrible things to one another. But the story is well told and you have to admire the purity of Jerkins's writing: He's determined to peer into the darkness and tell us exactly what he sees.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425238301
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 832,427
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Grant Jerkins lives with his wife and son in the Atlanta area, where he has worked for ten years advocating for adults with developmental disabilities.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2010

    Simple Crime? Think again.

    In Grant Jerkins' murder mystery-slash-legal thriller, "A Very Simple Crime," the author creates some of the darkest, most Machiavellian characters I've ever encountered - a slew of psychologically torqued and tormented personalities, each of whom engages in nasty doings, lies, betrayals, family intrigue and sadism.

    The story poses dark and disturbing possibilities: Did mentally retarded Albert Lee kill his deranged mother? Or did husband Adam Lee smash the crystal ashtray into her skull before enjoying a sick weekend tryst with his mistress? Is disgraced assistant DA Leo Hewitt right about who did it? Is Monty Lee, Adam's defense lawyer, purposefully sabotaging his younger brother's case? And what dark secret has bound the brothers together since childhood?

    Jerkins' writing is deceivingly simple and fast-paced. He adroitly manipulates his characters as well as his reader's perceptions. But the truth of this tale doesn't emerge until the last surprising twist is revealed.

    This is one sick, twisted thriller - and I mean that in the best possible way - by a new and fascinating voice. It's a rocking ride on the dark side.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2010

    This book totally blew me away! So many twists and turns... A true roller coaster ride of surprises... Don't miss it.

    This is a crime thriller that is unbelievably Jerkins first novel. The characters in this book are dark and you will be on the edge of your seat during many times. Very descriptive, and sometimes raw. This book was incredible. I'm looking forward to the movie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    terrific legal thriller

    Adam Lee married Rachel even knowing she was unstable, as the scars on her wrists affirm. After they marry, her mental state became worse as she was convinced Adam was cheating; she wrecked the car of someone flirting with her husband. They had a child, Albert who was mentally and physically behind his peers. At fourteen he was emotionally equivalent to a five year old and his intelligence also was that of a five year old. When he almost killed his mom, Albert was placed in an institution where he killed his roommate.

    Albert resides in a high security private institution for hardcore cases. His father lives a life of quiet desperation. Many years later, Adam brings his adult son home, but goes away for a weekend with Violet Perkins. When he returns home, he finds his wife dead and their son has blood all over him. Disturbed for enabling a notorious child-killer going free, Assistant District Attorney Leo Hewitt sees this case as a chance for redemption. The circumstantial evidence points to Albert, but the ADA believes Adam killed his wife; the motive is ,in his opinion, to escape from a lunatic spouse. He arrests Adam for murdering his wife. Adam's brother lawyer Monty defends his sibling, who has a few dead rabbits to pull out of his hat.

    Told in the first person by Adam, A Very Simple Crime is a terrific legal thriller that grips the audience early on, but it is the latter twists that keep the reader alert for more. Starting with marrying mentally unstable Rachel because she is the only heir to her father's multimillion dollar estate, Monty explains his brother does not always make good decisions but that does not make him a cold blooded killer. Grant Jenkins provides readers with a great chilling thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    WORD WISE

    This is a wonderful debut book. The characters are static, but few new writers are able to make the characters come alive. This is something that takes practice. The plot has a few good twists, and while not a new concept it is handled nicely.
    THIS BOOK HAS VIVID SEXUAL SCENES, so if you object to these you can always skip over them. Personally I wouldn' t allow anyone younger than legal age to read this unless you are attempting to open certain conversations, (I'm sure there are better examples for that purpose.)
    The sex scenes are not intrical to the plot. They do add a dynamic to the characters, but I believe the author could've spent more time to grow the characters, and leave this part out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    fast paced intrigue

    very enjoyable and easy read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    prose worthy of a bad documentary

    The characters are boring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    Captivating Novel

    The author provided a unique view into the complicated world of crime and detective work.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Simple Pleasure

    If the tale of murder can be a pleasure to read, Grant Jerkins has done the job. Well-crafted and clever, A Very Simple Crime is a short read, but good books don't have to be long, drawn out affairs. I liked it very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

    A Very Twisty and Twisted Plot

    More of a psychological than a legal thriller about some very disturbed people, A Very Simple Crime was a fast and furious read. The chapters were generally very short, the plot kept twisting, and the characters' sociopathy became more and more evident. At times the plot manipulations strained credibility/logic and the characters were difficult to empathize with. This was the kind of book that I didn't love but couldn't put down at the same time. As an entertainment, it did its job. Will this be an enduring work of crime fiction that will be read for years to come? I don't think so. Can it entertain you on a rainy afternoon? Most definitely.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    Lois512

    Nifty book!

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    Posted June 5, 2011

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    Posted December 7, 2010

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    Posted October 21, 2012

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    Posted May 4, 2011

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    Posted June 20, 2011

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    Posted November 17, 2010

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    Posted August 9, 2011

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted February 11, 2011

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    Posted February 3, 2012

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews

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