Green River Killer:
A Detective Story
Author: Jeff Jensen
Reviewed by Munawar Mobin
It was the 80s in Washington when Gary Leon Ridgeway, later dubbed as the Green River Killer, started killing prostitutes near Seattle and Tacoma. He was caught and convicted of 48 cases of aggravated murder and confessed to nearly 71 cases in total. This guy was The Beatles of murder.
In “Green River Killer”, author Jeff Jensen writes a personal account of his father's almost 30-year investigation and the eventual capture of Gary Ridgeway, combining the already terrible story with black and white panels. The story is bone-chilling on its own, but to have a direct look-see into the actual investigation is on a different level of scary.
Gary Ridgeway had been murdering since he was a teenager; his first ever victim - having escaped - said that during the attempted murder, when he asked Ridgeway why, Ridgeway had replied “I wanted to see what it felt like to kill somebody.” The most powerful element of the novel is the fact that it's non-fiction. The stunning revelation that the story is absolutely true and the involvement of hard cold facts and cemented opinions makes the book all the more harder to believe; for the tale of Gary Ridgeway is so twisted and bloody, that it's easy to think of it as the cooked up ideas of a modern Lovecraft.
One of the attributes of the novel which contributes in a major fashion to the realistic view of it all is that the artwork is absolutely accurate and brilliantly clear. In reality, one single moustache can make one person look different from the other, but with a fair amount of obviousness. The artwork for the novel manages to do just that.
The flip side of the coin is that sometimes the story drags on and one isn't hesitant to put down the book and take a break. However, at that moment, if one considers the book to be what it really is, a detailed account of the author's father's investigations, then the novel is gold.
Either way, Jeff Jenson had managed to pull it off quite nicely and in the end proves capable of weaving together an actual story with little or no plot holes. A must-buy for all of you out there who crave the blade, top hats and cigarettes in one story.