American readers of bestselling novels do seem to have a taste for rather vicious stories. In a lot of these books, the baddie doesn't quietly do someone in with arsenic as in a lot of Agatha Christie novels. Instead, victims are tortured before the coup de grace, often in some rural setting like a swamp or a barn with implements similar to the instruments of torture used during interrogations in the Middle Ages. Maybe American's taste for the ghoulish shouldn't be surprising given that this country boasts sustaining some of the most gruesome of crimes, such as the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders of the 1930's or the Zodiac killer of the late 1960's and 1970's. The average American could be equally entertained (or repulsed, depending upon your point of view) by devouring true crime books as well as crime fiction. "Gone But Not Forgotten" is a novel adapted for cable that chronicles two series of heinous crimes, both 10 years apart.
Scott Glenn, in maybe the most fiendish role of his career, portrays Martin Darius, a Sacramento magnate-developer who may have had a previous life in upstate New York in a small town called Hunter's Point where his wife and daughter were mercilessly dispatched. Fast-forward 10 years. He has now changed his name and swings big development deals in Sacramento, California. There, a serial kidnapper is on the loose who has a taste for young uppity women who are both attractive and rich. The kidnapper snatches each woman and leaves a calling card that says "Gone But Not Forgotten" along with a black rose. It is unclear whether these victims are alive or dead. Ten years earlier, there was also a serial kidnapper in Hunter's Point who did the same thing: kidnap a young beautiful woman from society's upper-crust and leave the same calling card with a similar black rose.
When the authorities learn that one of the victims had been having an affair with Darius, he becomes a suspect. He entices up-and-coming crackerjack attorney Betsy Tannenbaum (Brooke Shields) to take his case, partially by offering a $100,000 fee of attainder. Alan Page (played by Lou Diamond Philips) is the detective on the case who also begins researching the crimes at Hunter's Point. He is unexpectedly visited by a detective from New York, Nancy Gordon played by Marilu Henner (of Taxi fame), who had been on the Hunter's Point case. But strangely, the files regarding the Hunter Point case are missing. And then Henner goes missing. Both Shields and Philips decide to investigate further at Hunter's Point, 3000 miles away.
A decent but rather brutal crime drama. At one point, a lot of characters end up murdered. The final solution is interesting if not incredibly disturbing. This may not be as brutal as the recent film "The Changeling" but it comes close. Not for the feint of heart. Although I believe in the freedom of entertainment, I do have to wonder what purpose it serves for people to continue devouring material of such gruesome content.