BRAINWASH by John Wainwright


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As he does so often, Wainwright here takes a neat, not very original short-story idea and inflates it to novel length with fevered over-writing and labored, oldfashioned stream-of-consciousness. At a British police station, suspect George Barker is being mercilessly, cleverly interrogated: he's obviously guilty of three rape-murders of young girls--and the coppers are determined to elicit a confession. (""Get to know him. Twist his very soul for hours on end. . . ."") The grilling goes on and on--along with one spot of outright brutality--as chunks of dialogue are interlarded with italicized inner thoughts: ""WHY HAVEN'T THEY EVER HELPED ME?"" moans Barker, who denies the crimes but admits to being a wishful pervert. And the suspect's frigid wife arrives to confirm that he's a childmolesting creep. The confession finally comes, of course, followed by the 100% predictable ""trick"" ending--which also carries a misogynistic whiff. A crude, contrived quickie for Wainwright fans only.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's