This novel is almost like a character study with some of the author’s philosophy thrown in to elaborate more fully what he is saying to the reader. Chimlyn, a hunk of a football player is considered a retard by his friends, but manages to attract one of prettiest girls in high school, Robin, who is a cheer leader. They marry and financially life is a struggle for them, but they are in love and face life realistically. Charles Paul Paullet, has always been a mama’s boy, subject absolutely to her will with a wimp of a father. He is forced to play the piano, but hides his sexual Urge, as he calls it, which rules his life. His mother selects as his wife Agnes, an extremely overweight teenager, whom he can’t stand, but plays the game because of his mother. Agnes has appetite for anything other than food so is unaware of his sexual weakness. Eventually Charles becomes the police chief of Normal and because as a teenager, he always carried his father’s badge, is nicknamed “Badge.” Martin’s mother was an alcoholic and she and he were always getting beat-up by the drunks she dragged home. But he chose to rise above that, became a policeman and married Lacy, an elementary teacher, and they had a good marriage. He was hired as a police officer in Normal under Badge’s supervision.
Throughout the story are events and actions that police are faced with everyday and in this story, the main villain is Badge because of his grotesque sexual hunger. He uses his authority as Police Chief to do whatever it takes to make himself happy and sometimes at the cost of hurting others, especially his underlings. Much of the language in this story is vulgar and although usual to men and teenage boys, in this story seems to be the common verbiage of the men. There are many flashbacks, which are handled nicely, but wherever there has been happiness, the plot stamps it out, leaving depressing impressions. I think the author, who is an ex-law enforcement man, is attempting to tell the reader something that he feels is important to know. I do not think this is a book that would particularly appeal to women, but men would find it interesting.