Most helpful critical review
Only of real interest to Huntington, Indiana residents.
on August 18, 2002
Violent crime is indeed a rare commodity in Huntington County Indiana. The crime depicted in this book shocked and titilated virtually everyone in the area. Indeed, the murder is well remembered and discussed by many to this day. The publishing of "Fear No Evil" promises to reveal the secrets of this most unusual crime. Sadly, the book fails in several respects.
Much of the information presented in Thomas Henry Jones's true crime book is simply rehashed details that were already well covered in the local newspaper. Details of the crime, the court proceedings, the testimony and sentencing information were well documented and devoured by Huntington residents. Despite the lurid blurb on the back cover and the inexplicable title, there is precious little newly published 'shocking' information.
Much of the story revolves around Erick Esch, the unwitting accomplice the the crime. While this is interesting, it doesn't thoroughly cover the perpetrator, Jarod Wall. The author was unable to obtain an interview with Wall and the book suffers because of it. Jarrod holds the key the motives, emotions and driving forces behind his behaviors. Without these key elements, the book fails to deliver the goods.
By Mr. Jones' own admisson, he has never written a true crime narrative before. This lack of experience shines throughout every page of this brief, featherweight tome. We are regularly treated to his clumsy characterizations and unitentionaly humourous descriptions. The volulme is also padded with extraneous details. The history of the restaurant were the county prosecutor ate his breakfast is interesting but totally irrelavent to the story.
Despite my rather harsh judgements of this book, I would still recommend it the those of us who knew the people portrayed in this book or lived in this area at the time. I enjoyed 'Fear No Evil' with a perverse, voyeuristic pleasure. A quick, easy read that isn't a literary steak, but will still give you guilty junk food pleasure.