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Publisher's Summary

In 1964 Kitty Genovese was murdered on the street near her apartment in New York. As many as 38 people may have witnessed the attack, and yet not one of them came to her aid. In Acts of Violence, Ryan David Jahn has fictionalised the events of that night, crafting a series of stories about the victim, the killer, and the bystanders: the terrified Vietnam draftee; the woman who thinks she’s killed a child; the former soldier planning suicide and the man who saves him.

In this terrifying novel, Jahn explores the lives of those whose lives are touched, however briefly, by the murder in their midst, and creates an insightful portrait of America in the throes of the Vietnam War and at the height the Civil Rights movement.

The dual narration of the audiobook remains true to the formal nature of the book. Narrators Lauren Lefkow and John Guerrasio - a New York native who remembers the crime the novel is based on - deliver compelling readings that bring Jahn's highly crafted book to life. Guerrasio voices the multitude of witnesses, while Lefkow delivers a sensitive and nuanced performance of 'Katrina Marino', the murder victim. Shocking and compassionate, angry and gripping, Acts of Violence is a sprawling, cinematic tour-de-force, a terrifying crime novel unlike any other.

©2010 Ryan David Jahn (P)2011 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

“A gripping, thoughtful psychological thriller, which deftly interweaves the stories of the victim, her killer and the neighbours.... Jahn's style creates a voyeuristic distance between reader and characters that perfectly matches his theme.” (Financial Times)
"Dark, compelling and powerful; this is a book of real substance. Ryan David Jahn is a rare and fine talent." (R. J. Ellory)

What members say

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • 06-28-11

Acts of violence

Just left me filling uncomfortable throughout, and wanting to not listen to this voyeuristic experience. Not one for those who want to enjoy their audiobooks.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 06-30-11


A thought-provoking inspection of the darker side of modern day society. Very well written and performed. Will be buying more audiobooks by this author as they become available.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fj
  • 07-25-11

Gripping - but disturbing

You'll either love it or hate it. I can't say I "enjoyed" it, but I couldn't stop listening and it is certainly well told, well narrated, and worth the time. A dark story, but ultimately not without hope and humanity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia A. Thompson
  • 07-01-11

Fact and Fiction Intertwined

Not exactly pleasant listening, but very compelling and involving.

I didn't realise until I'd actually listened to this book that it was based on a real crime which shocked the US many years ago, when it was discovered that there were many witnesses to a murder yet no one reported it to the police as it was happening.

The author has written his own take on events and weaved a story around many of the fictitious witnesses he wrote into the account. He made them believable and some to be judged with sympathy and others not so likeable.

I was so interested in the story that I did a little investigating of my own after listening to it, to find out the true account.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • 04-08-17

Never got past 30 minutes

I've tried several times to listen to this book but I can't get past the first 30 minutes. I can't put my finger on exactly why other than I just didn't like it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • liz
  • 11-21-11

Past Caring

This was a truly dreadful book.
I certainly have nothing else to say about it.
I hope I don't make such a bad choice again.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • WeimOwner
  • 08-21-11

A collection of short stories

This book reads far more as a collection of short stories, each one with several chapters devoted to it, rather than a 'normal' book. The stories relate to the lives of the people present on the night that a violent attack takes place but little of the book is directly devoted to the attack and it's victim. The female narrator, who reads the part of the victim, is truly excellent.

It's a very interesting book, unlike almost anything I've read before. Uncomfortable listening but gripping in places.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 08-03-11

Bleak and cynical, although well read by actors

This book is full of cynicism and nastiness with an entirely unbalanced and negative view on humanity.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 07-21-11


Probably the most depressing book i have ever read / listened to. I wish i had read the reviews before buying!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lesley
  • 07-06-11

Acts of Violence - Ryan David Jahn

Disappointed a little as the story line was hard to follow and not what i had expected.