Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Reading Response # 6

The Honor Farm
By : John Westermann
Pages 201-267 (End of Book)

So I just finished reading the Honor Farm by: John Westermann. The book took me a lot longer to finish then expected, and I think that is due to all the content and the confusing story lines. It didn't really surprise me and I don't intend on ruining the story for anyone when I found out that Orin Boyd is indeed murdered at the end.  It's just that I didn't expect it to happen so soon, and at the end we don't even know who killed him for sure. I have an idea, but since the book is over and there is no sequel, I guess I will never know for sure.

Like I said before, the story line of this book was hard to follow because there was so much going on between different characters and the author jumped around from different peoples perspectives without letting us in on who's mind or thoughts we were experiencing as readers. It was always a guessing game, and the whole time, I was left thinking and often confused by what I had just read. I think however that was the authors intention. It was an investigation the whole time, and as readers we decide ourselves who we think is the killer. When I look back on the novel, I can actually think of 3 different characters who may have killed Orin, Alex and the Police Commissioners son. Maybe they are all guilty of one particular murder, but we just don't know for sure and that's what frustrates me! Almost every other book I have read in my life has a definitive or at least a sufficient ending that satisfies my curiosity, but this one doesn't. It's gone so far, I sometimes lay in bed at night questioning myself. Did I miss something? I just can't wrap my head around it. Maybe it was a set up the whole time. It might be possible you don't come out of the Honor Farm, maybe you go there to be killed, but is there any honor in that?

One aspect I did begin to like however was the character development. From the start of the book we never know a whole lot about one character in particular  and by doing this, the author made it hard for us to relate to someone in specific. The character who intrigued me the most was Orin Boyd. As we learnt more about him, it was almost like he was a polar opposite to me. Except one thing. He was a police officer, and that is what I  want to be in the future. I can relate to him from that but nothing else. Orin never really loves anyone, and throughout the story it's almost hard to see him as a human being. He is exactly what I strive not to be, especially as a police officer. Being written by a retired  police officer however, this confused me. This book maybe even serves as a cautionary tale, to the life associated to being a police officer. The things you see and how they can affect you.

In the end, I guess in a way, I did enjoy this book. It opened my eyes to some aspects of policing and life in general that I have never thought of before. I think the reason why there is no ending to the novel, is so we can write it ourselves, and that's what I plan to do. I think I will try reading another one of his books sometime in the future, but for now, I need to relax and read something a little less intense. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a murder mystery, and to any one who it doesn't bother not knowing who the murderer is in the end. Happy reading!

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