Title: Green River Killer: A True Detective Story
Author: Jeff Jensen & Jonathan Case
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Graphic
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Green River Killer was the nickname Seattle gave to the serial killer that terrorized and murdered women over the course of twenty years. Detective Tom Jensen of the Seattle Police Department was the pointman for the Green River Killer investigation and spent most of his career searching for the identity of this twisted madman.
Jeff Jensen is a popular writer for Entertainment Weekly, but he is also the son of Tom Jensen, the Green River Killer detective. In this graphic novel/true crime story (Jensen makes it clear that details have been changed, so the book isn’t pure non-fiction), he chronicles his father’s search for a murderer.
Green River Killer jumps through time in order to maximize the suspense of the story. Near the beginning, it appears as though the Seattle police have a suspect and are interrogating him. But how did they find him? Why is he at the police station? And what about the holes in his story - are they sure he’s the culprit? Jensen effectively utilizes the time jumps and fractured narration in order to deliver a taut, suspenseful tale that will keep readers glued to this book.
The artwork in Green River Killer is really stunning. It’s black and white, and while that disappointed me at the beginning, I quickly realized it was much more appropriate than color. The images are often disturbing, revealing the twisted nature of the killer, and they would lose some of that starkness if they were in color. Jonathan Case perfectly captures the incredibly creepy atmosphere of the story, even when readers are sitting in the bright lights of the Seattle police station.
This true crime story was wonderfully adapted to the graphic genre; readers get a complete overview of the case while also being treated to visually stunning artwork. Readers also get a real sense of how much respect Jeff Jensen has for his father, and this book is a touching tribute from son to father. It’s well thought out and completely chilling; readers won’t want to put this book down.