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DIALOGUES OF A CRIME: a Novel ~John K. Manos

“Guilt.  A different sense of themselves.  I don’t think there are all that many people who can kill someone and just never think about it again.”

“’It’s not just a matter of chance,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘It’s where you are and the people you’ve got around you too.’  He realized that this line of speculation applied more often than not and in more situations than he cared to acknowledge.”


Dialogues of a Crime starts off with a young college boy being arrested in a drug sweep of college campuses in 1972.   Michael the young man in question is a hard working scholarship student in Illinois who is unjustly sentenced by a judge and an incompetent Public Defender to 30-90 days in a medium security prison. They are determined to teach him a lesson.  Ten days after arrival Michael is brutally beaten and raped by 3 prisoners and spends the remainder of his time to serve in the Infirmary.  As Michael is leaving the prison, he passes the 3 evil perpetrators and suggests that two of the men will experience a gruesome death in the future.

Those gruesome death threats are played out and 20 years later the third perpetrator who was not threatened is hoping to save his skin in another murder case and re-opens the investigation into what happened.  He speculates and accuses.  The State Attorney’s Office sees an opportunity to take down a Chicago area Mafia boss, because Michael’s best friend since 4th grades is the son of this crime family leader.

The majority of the book is the interrogations of all the people involved.  So the book is a series of conversations which happened in 1972, 1994 and 2003. My Kindle Fire HD reader said that it would take me 11 hours to read this book (about 300 pages)   It is the kind of book I dislike so I pushed the accelerator to the floor and finished it in 5 hours.  I know that there are many of my readers who just love this suspenseful kind of story and the psychological underpinnings; how so many ideas become leads and how the information gets interpreted and individual discoveries.   I completed my first internship in a County Sherriff’s office, I worked in a drug rehab center, and I have talked with more rape victims in my counseling work than one can imagine.  It is hard to free my mind of this kind of knowledge and I find no fascination in this particular kind of read.   Dialogues of a Crime reminded me how brutal humans can be to each other.  I had to watch a fun lecture before I could go to bed and find rest.

I am left with the same question that Michael has throughout the book, he asks his Mob friends why they all talk like the mobsters in the movies and what is the point of that imitation?   Yes! What is the point of the stereotypical, imitational language?

tlc logo TLC Online Book Tours shared this PDF copy with me for review.  The psychological interpretations and the investigations are interesting. The writing does not get in the way and was the part I thought was quite good.    It has left me feeling so sad and wrung out; I will let other readers decide for themselves about Dialogues of a Crime.

Related:
The Dirty Murder Book
The Accident 
The Condor Song
The Contractors

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11 Responses to “DIALOGUES OF A CRIME: a Novel ~John K. Manos”

  1. Deborah Barker Says:

    Sad and wring out? Oh dear. I may give this one a miss for now Patricia. I have just returned from a week’s holiday where I managed to read three of the many books that are begging for my attention at the moment. Of the 50 books I won, I still have forty eight to go. I am currently reading one I was given for Christmas! There is nothing for it but to book another holiday…:-)
    Deborah Barker recently posted..A Right Royal OccasionMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes another holiday for reading sounds just perfect Deborah!

    I finished reading my 67th book in 2014 and in hindsight other than a couple of weeks of 4-6 book reviews per week ( that was too much) I am finding the pace just about right.

    Happy reading to you
    Patricia recently posted..DIALOGUES OF A CRIME: a Novel ~John K. ManosMy Profile

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – Not my style at all, ‘m going to take a pass on this one.
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Stake in the GroundMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    The writing was very good for this book and I know there are lots of folks who would enjoy this one very much.

    Several of the scenes are still hanging in there with me and the book brought up a great many recalls from my work – fortunately the next two books I read are easing those memories and softening the edges
    Patricia recently posted..DIALOGUES OF A CRIME: a Novel ~John K. ManosMy Profile

  3. Sara Healy Says:

    This one sounds a bit dark for me:~)
    Sara Healy recently posted..SPC: Two Things TogetherMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Sara,
    Dark is a good word – and a lot of truth.

    I just heard a THIS AMERICAN LIFE program about a young woman who is still stuck in the prison system for a juvenile offense by a judge who was bound and determined to “teach her a lesson” It is not a “funny” as Orange is the New Black series but it is still happening today –

    Not only on the Supreme Court but all across the country we have some brutal and horrible judges and a book of this nature reminds us to speak up and not ignore.

    But I do understand taking a pass –

  4. John Manos, author of Dialogues of a Crime, on tour May 2014 | TLC Book Tours Says:

    […] Wednesday, May 14th:  Patricia’s Wisdom […]

  5. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Welcome!
    Patricia recently posted..LITTLE ISLAND: A novel ~Katharine BrittonMy Profile

  6. Teena in Toronto Says:

    I enjoyed this book.
    Teena in Toronto recently posted..Battlefield House Museum & Park, Stoney Creek, ONMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Teena in Toronto

    I too enjoyed this book
    Patricia recently posted..THE QUICK: A Novel ~Lauren OwenMy Profile