Wednesday 10 March 2021




A mourning father takes a troubled man into his home only to lead a deranged lunatic to his door in this noir thriller from the author of Savage Highway.

After Shepherd Butler finds Maxwell Heed freezing in the forest in Vermont, he takes him into his home with his wife, his nieces, and his sister. They instantly take to Maxwell. He’s a sincere, religious man, seeking to understand the nature of forgiveness. He feels like just another member of the family.

Then he opens up to Shepherd and his wife about the man who killed his fiancée…

Temple Jones is a dangerous psychopath who preys on women. He has escaped justice, and Maxwell fears he has followed him to Vermont. Shepherd tries to ease Maxwell’s fears, but Maxwell soon vanishes…

And Temple Jones shows up….

“Godwin writes intelligent noir from a unique psychological perspective, delving deep into the nobler motives and emotions of his engaging characters while examining the darkest corners of the human heart. The faceless villain in this chiller is as real as a razor cut….Before you sit down on a cool dark night to enjoy this one, make sure the doors and windows are locked.”—Phil Bowie, author of the John Hardin series

An intense, gripping, graphic and as a consequence sometimes difficult read as Richard Godwin's The Pure and The Hated illustrates the damage that can occur, when kind, generous and trusting people display too much humanity, leaving themselves wide open to destruction at the hands of a disturbed psychopath. 

Shepherd Butler and his wife already feel as if they have lost nearly everything there is to lose. Their son died in a hunting accident and they are struggling both as individuals and as a couple. Shepherd Butler and his wife are wrong.

Charity towards a homeless man, results in a horrifying chain of events which wreaks havoc and terror on an already bereft married couple and their extended family. In truth events have already begun to play out, even before Shephard's meeting with a homeless man in a snowy Vermont wood.

Family secrets, best hidden and buried are ruthlessly exposed and exploited, connections, histories, crossed paths, mental health issues, abuse, violence, sexual assault, rape, death and lots more besides.

Not a book for the faint of heart. The detail of the inhumanity on display, contrasts vividly with the descriptions of a wintery Vermont. Not a book I'm likely to forget in a hurry. Some powerful writing from Richard Godwin.

4 from 5

Richard Godwin has been read and enjoyed before - Ersatz World in 2019. 

Read - (listened to) January, 2021

Published - 2016

Page count - 129 (3 hrs 2 mins)

Source - Audible purchase

Format - Audible


  1. Like all of Richard's novels, THE PURE AND THE HATED absolutely kicks butt! Blue skies, Les Edgerton

    1. Cheers for stopping by, Les. This one should perhaps come with a government health warning attached!

  2. I am faint of heart, so I won't give this a try. But the page count is good, and I am glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks Tracy, definitely one for you to avoid.

  3. This one probably isn't for me, Col, as I'm not one for graphic displays and serial killers. But the setting sounds great, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. A strange book, Margot which on reflection was more than just graphic violence. Everyone has their boundaries though.