Acts of Violence
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Acts of Violence

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  578 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Katrina Marino is about to become America's most infamous murder victim. This is Katrina's story, and the story of her killer. It is also the story of Katrina's neighbours, those who witnessed her murder and did nothing: the terrified Vietnam draftee; the woman who thinks she's killed a child, and her husband who will risk everything for the truth; the former soldier plann...more
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published November 6th 2009 by MacMillan UK (first published 2009)
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Anthony Chavez
Won this book as a Goodreads First Reads and I am at a loss for words. Wow... I mean wow... This book was so packed with action. It really did recall movies such as Crash, 11:14, and Vantage Point. Ryan David Jahn or RDJ does an amazing job of weaving the very busy characters lives that revolve around the brutal murder of Kat. At first as I started the book and the characters were being introduced I said to myself how is RDJ going to pull off this whole story with so many characters in under 300...more
Ben Loory
though loosely based on the famous real-life murder of kitty genovese, this is actually a conceptual novel with a dark conceit at the heart of it... basically, the idea is that everyone is always at their darkest, scariest, most life-defining moment... whether they notice it or not... the book is a tapestry of interwoven stories about different people in this apartment building, all of whom may or may not be partially guilty for the murder that happens in the courtyard below them (which they may...more
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Kat Marino was returning to her Queens apartment from her shift at a local bar at 4 AM in the morning, when she was attacked by a man, who was hiding beside a tree nearby. Kat had never met the man before and is completely taken by surprise and shock. A few of her neighbors whose apartment windows face the courtyard, where the action was unveiling, hadn't yet gone to sleep and were watching dazed, having been interrupted from whatever argument or conversation they were preoccupied with at that h...more
Tiffany Smith
I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book. I won this book from First Reads and it was an awesome read. It is an absolutely riveting tale that weaves a magnificent web. Ryan David Jahn, creatively depicts a tragedy through the lives of the victim and her neighbors. Based on the Kitty Genovese story, Jahn brings to life the emotional causes and profound effects of "Genovese Syndrome." This novel will have you questioning your own personal convictions. "Would you...could you stand by an...more
No where in the book does it mention Kitty Genovese (the woman who was raped, assaulted, and left to die in an alley while her neighbors watched) and the whole time I kept thinking about that amazing story. As a sociology grad student the Kitty Genovese story is widely discussed as a social psychological problem (and the idea that in an emergency it is always best to identify someone, not just ask for help but say "you in the red jacket help me").

And then, I pull up the book here on goodreads an...more
This won a Crime Writer's Association Award, so I was expecting big things. It's based on the Kitty Genovese murder that occurred in the early 1960's. For those who don't know, Kitty Genovese was a young woman who was raped and murdered in the courtyard of her apartment with her neighbors looking on while it happened. The murderer ran and left her still alive, but came back ten minutes later, systematically searched for her, and finished her off. It wasn't until that point that someone called th...more
Aug 29, 2011 Peter rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peter by: Goodreads firstreads giveaway
This review of Good Neighbors is of a copy of the Penguin Books 2011 edition, received as a free copy from Goodreads First Reads.

This is an great first novel giving a fictionalized version of the Kitty Genovese murder. It does an excellent job of trying to show what might have happened on that fatal night and explaining the known facts.

The only downside I found was the short chapters and rapid switching of persons and locale made the reading a little choppy. I feel that this is a great device fo...more
David Hebblethwaite
Queens, New York: 1964. In the small hours, Katrina Marino heads home from her job as night manager of a sports bar. In the courtyard of her apartment, she is attacked and stabbed by a man who has followed her. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of several other apartments in the block are awake. and going through their own personal dramas. Over the course of three hours, relationships are forged, broken, and re-negotiated — but no one comes to Katrina’s aid, even though they heard her screams and saw w...more
I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I liked this book and this book showed the truth. When no one would help Kat it showed that people don't usually help each other we just stand around and watch. Some people do help but mostly not. Everyone just stood there watching as someone attacked her and they didn't even call the cops. They just made an excuse that somebody else called the cops already. Everyone has problems they are faceing themselves but it only would have taken a couple minutes...more
This is an excellent and unusual thriller. The characters are convincing, and almost all of them are sympathetic in some way. It's based on a real - and shocking - event, and Jahn reminds the reader of something that the more extreme crime novels seem to have forgotten: that being knifed to death is a horrible way to die. You know from the start what the outcome will be, but to the end, you hope you are wrong. A real page turner.
James Kidd
Great book. I found the violence very direct and visceral. I have read many books with vivid violent scenes and not been affected as I was with this book. The writing was excellent, the story many layered and apart from the all too easy wrap up of the Frank/bad cop story line (that was the bit that just did not ring true) I thought it was compelling.
I literally could not put this one down...very quick read. It's one of those fascinating yet repelling novels. You've carried her groceries or said hello in she's being murdered. What do you do? The no brainer answer is "Call the police."'re sure someone else already has, and then life sets in...
Just finished the galley of this one- run out and get it as soon as it publishes (as a paperback original!) it was phenomenal. Read it in two days and could not put it down- the comparison to the movie Crash on the back cover is not amiss.
It is hard to "like: a book like this one.

The story is so disagreeable.

But the writing was good. A very quick read. But still so sad and unsettling.
Karen Manning
Interesting read with all of the sub plots. Frank and Kat were my favorite characters. Its a sad story because these kinds of things happen all the time.
Brutal and graphic and I couldn't put it down.
Holy crud! Best book I've read in a long time.
Kathleen Smith
I guess the fact that the book upset me shows that it was well written. I feel, however that it is a sad commentary of our concept of "Good Neighbors". I live in the same house I grew up in and only know 4 people, and they are left overs from when I lived her as a child. We do not interact any longer. We do not assist- we bank in machines, check our groceries out with out talking to anyone. We pay our bills, bank, etc on the computer. So our connections are severed....never allowed to connect. E...more

Katrina Morino, eigentlich nur Kat genannt, ist auf dem Weg von ihrem Job als Nachtmanagerin in einer Bar nach Hause, als das Unmögliche geschieht: Aus dem Dunkeln tritt ein Fremder und packt sie von hinten, als sie fast zur Haustür hinein ist. Während sich dieser Akt vollzieht, beschäftigen sich die übrigen Bewohner des Appartementkomplexes mit ihren eigenen Problemen…


Das erstaunliche Talent Jahns ist es, viele Charaktere in diesem Buch auftreten lassen und trotzdem d...more
This is an incredible story, and even more so for being a debut novel. Kat, the night manager at a bar, is almost home when she's attacked right outside her front door. She thinks she'll be okay, because many of her neighbors are home - in fact, she sees their lights on, and they see her after she screams. But each one of them has a different reason for not calling 911: a more pressing personal problem, someone starts talking, they don't want to tie up the lines with redundant calls... Obviously...more
Cathi Cantrell
I received this copy of Good Neighbors through a Goodreads giveaway. I managed to read 11 chapters before putting it down the first night! This is a riveting character study in the best and worse of the human condition. They were many and varied and each perfectly molded into the people next door and psychotic strangers (those "human monsters" that DO exist out there) among us! Based on a true story that happened in the 1960's, the author has done a truly amazing job recreating what surely must...more
It's hard to say what I thought of this book. In a way I think it was excellent and in a way, I hated it. It confirmed what I am starting to believe these days - that people are self-centered and horrid. It was hard to read...hard to believe it's based on an actual event as well. Knowing myself and knowing I can't stay uninvolved (I once saw a woman getting beat up by a man and you bet I called...and followed her down the street to make sure she was okay) just infuriated me. But definitely...more
Jun 28, 2011 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A.P. Sweet, Jessica V, Crystal, Mike H
Recommended to Erin by: I Won it from the Author
I won this book for FREE here on It is not my usual type of genre but I entered the contest because the book sounded really good. I really enjoyed this book a great deal! It was an easy read but the writing drew me into the characters and their individual situations. I would briefly forget about one neighbor as I started reading about another because the writing was so good. He is great at keeping your attention and full of details. I watched this book like a movie in my head. Sus...more
Tamiya Shane
wow this book has to be one of the best books i have read in years. i loved the way it was put together. this book went into the lives of many people and what they were doing and going through while a lady was being attacked in there apartment buildings courtyard.many people seen what happened to her but no one did anything they were to busy with their own twisted lives. there was a lot of drama going on with everyone in this book and a lot of what was going on was very shocking, sad and weird....more
Kev snagged my copy of "Wanton West" tonight, so I started this one. I'm already about 160 pages in. Based loosely on the Kitty Genovese murder, it chronicles the lives and reactions of the neighbors who didn't call the police. It's been compared to the movie Crash and I think that's apt.

Finished last night---pretty brutal, but really well done. It's hard to have that many competing storylines and have all of the characters so well developed. Recommended.
Michael Jenkins
I usually start with the positive but for this exception I will start with the negative. I really hated how none of these characters was developed, it was almost like they were thrown together in a puzzle that did not fit. None of their personalities shined through, therefore I was not invested with their growth and attributes. Also consistency is one of the main things I look for in any novel and this novel had very little of it. It was hard for me to wrap my head around how fickle the story be...more
This book is seriously screwed up. It is so infuriating that it literally has you shaking your head but it's so intriguing that you can't stop reading it. Good Neighbors is about a large group of neighbors who witness an assault happening but do nothing to help. The story bounces between the victim and the neighbors, each of which has their own screwed up situation going on. It's a lot of story packed into less than 300 pages.
Disclaimer: I received this book as part of a First Reads giveaway.

Jahn weaves a chilling tale of a young woman under attack and the people who could have saved her, but were to distracted by their own stories. This book is hard to put down, especially in the second half, where the reader is kept hooked, waiting to see if there will be justice for Kat and some of her neighbors. This is definitely not for the squeamish reader.
Would you help a stranger who was in trouble? That question has so many answers and variables. This book is loosely based on the story of Kitty Genovese who was stabbed in her apartment courtyard and no one called 911 for help. But each of those people had reasons for the actions. Very well done and enlightening.
I thought this book was going to be a historical fiction style retelling of the Kitty Genovese case, but it really was just inspired by that crime. Quick read, with a focus on choices and morals (or lack of morals) among people living in the same neighborhood.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780143118961 PB 2 19 Aug 09, 2011 10:40PM  
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Ryan David Jahn grew up in Arizona, Texas, and California. He left 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.

He published his first novel, the CWA John Creasey Dagger winning Acts of Violence, in 2009, and has since published two others, Low Life and The Dispatcher. Translation righ...more
More about Ryan David Jahn...
The Dispatcher Low Life The Last Tomorrow American Loser The Dreaming

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“He pulls the gun away from his head and sets it on the coffee table. He wonders who first called it a coffee table. He gets to his feet and walks into the hallway. He wonders who first called it a highway. He wonder who first named anything. How did someone look at a dog and decide what to call it? It’s all so random. Everything is so goddamn random.” 5 likes
“He looks at Mr. Vacanti and the man looks back at him with somehow gentle eyes. It surprises David to see the man has gentle eyes. It surprises him, even at thirty-seven, to discover that monsters can have gentle eyes. Something is terribly wrong with a world where monsters are allowed to have gentle eyes.” 1 likes
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