The Pines

The Pines - Robert Dunbar (Really 3.5--silly silly ratings system. Please read my full-length review at Casual Debris

What is most effective in the novel as a whole is the idea of monsters and monstrosity. We are faced with a legion of candidates pining for the definition of "monster," from a folktale creature to rabid dogs, from "backwards" pineys who drink bathtub gin and neglect their malformed in-bred children to more "civilized" contenders who resent their own offspring. We have a once big city cop who drowns his guilt by blatantly drinking on duty, his partner who is openly unfaithful to his wife, a recently freed convict who threatens his sister-in-law and son for possession of their home, and a lead character who seems to resent her only child. With a cast comprising of characters such as these, and more, we wonder who is the true devil in New Jersey.

(Most devilish, however, are the unfortunate typos in the Leisure edition.)