Charles ‘Badge’ Pullet is a policeman in the small town of Normal. All his life he’s wanted to be on the force and to wear the badge. But Badge has a problem, the Urge, which affects his judgement, drawing him into deeper predicaments even as he rises through the ranks.
The Urge impacts others around him, his wife, his Deputy, and the women he targets, among others. For a small town Normal has some large personalities from which nothing good can come.This was a seriously disappointing novel, a strange mix of bland ‘thriller’, police procedure ,and trashy erotic novel, although I suspect the latter was unintended.
The Urge is Badge’s sexual proclivity, he cannot help himself when it comes to satisfying his needs. Unfortunately, the author seems to delight in various descriptions of Badge’s penis and what he does with it. JusThis goes through the motions of attempting to bring the issues resulting from Badge’s activities to a justifiable conclusion. Ultimately, it was a depressing end.
A comparatively minor example of Badge’s ‘conquest’ description:
If a woman’s husband didn’t understand her, Badge found out what she needed, then gave it to her–and she did the same for him. She’d get wide-eyed as his pants hit the floor and would spend a wonderful night wrestling with his trouser python, but once it was over, Badge lost interest. Once he had defiled her, the thrill was gone. He’d move on to another man’s bride.
Periodically there would be some description of actual police work, although it tended to be a particularly gruesome car smash or a brush with a troubled personality, some of which had succumbed to ‘Mr. Intoxication’ or ‘Mr. Mental Illness’.
The characters were distinctly unpleasant, I didn’t warm to a single one of them. They all had huge flaws that ultimately made them weak-chinned individuals that I just wanted to shout at, kick in the pants, or both.
There was virtually no dialogue, vast swathes of text was dominated by internalized thought or long descriptions meaning there was little real action until the culmination of the story in the final chapters. What dialogue there was tended to be bland. The following example is supposed to be a light-hearted joke directed at Badge (I imagine it spoken in a high-pitched, Marilyn Monroe like tone):
You’re really the first policeman I’ve ever spent time with. You must be brave to do what you do. I’ve been a good girl all my life, so it’s not like I’ve ever gotten a speeding ticket or been handcuffed.
Enough said, I think.
Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog.
Rating? One Star
Would I add this to my bookshelf? No