Eye for an Eye, the Movie
Paramount Pictures' Eye for an Eye from the novel by Erika Holzer stars Sally Field, Kiefer Sutherland, Ed Harris, and Joe Mantegna. Dedicated “to the victims of crime, dead or alive,” Erika’s novel is a page-turning thriller about our flawed criminal justice system.
“Controversial as well as thought-provoking. Erika Holzer's Eye for an Eye is a serious and disturbing look at street gangs, urban violence, and the criminal justice system. ... She has created a plot from what could be, and often is, any newspaper headline, and carried it a step further, a step many of us would not take but think about in our darkest moments. ... Highly recommended. A sort of American Clockwork Orange.” »More
— Nelson DeMille, novelist
“Does a crime victim have a right to exact private vengeance? Eye for an Eye is a tough, taut thriller that asks one of the big moral questions of our time.”
— Barbara D'Amato, novelist
“This is a very complex and well-written novel — tightly knit, well-plotted, a carefully characterized story. The drama is real and it builds exactly right. While not a mystery, it certainly deals in a special way with crime and its manifestations. The people are all believable — even the chief villain. An in-depth study of vengeance from many different angles, it uses betrayal and deceit in the games people play with one another. Not an ordinary story of investigative murder.”
— Bruce Cassiday, writer, literary critic
“Erika Holzer's ferociously powerful novel, Eye for an Eye, is a take your-breath-away tale of violence and retribution. In an unrelenting story that could take place anywhere in America, Holzer plays out the age-old theme of good versus evil in a tale that will have you on the edge of your seat and whose climax will leave you breathless. A treat for both spirit and mind, this tingling drama moves Holzer right into the front rank of America's top writers.”
— Warren Murphy, novelist, co-creator of The Destroyer series
“Sisters, watch out! Here comes Erika! Eye for an Eye is a blistering novel that will keep you awake all night and watchful all day.”
— Ed McBain, novelist
“In this novel, Ms. Holzer, who is both a lawyer and an experienced journalist, hurtles at breakneck pace from one scene of cunning and violence to another as she explores the ethics of frontier justice transposed to the urban battleground. Her characters may be a little larger than life ... but what Erika Holzer has written, for all its street smarts, is a modern-day morality play. A word of warning. Although Eye for an Eye is a page-turner, it should be read with attention, lest some of the subtler nuances of this well-crafted and ingenious plot — with its O. Henry twist — be missed.” »More
— Priscilla L. Buckley, The National Review
“Eye for an Eye will take you by the throat and force you to ask yourself tough questions about right and wrong, justice and injustice, criminals and crimes. You might not answer right away, but your conscience will. Which means that, like the best lawyers, Erika Holzer, the novelist, manages to be provocative without becoming one of the distasteful self-righteous. More, please.” »More
— Tony Buchsbaum, the Old Santa Fe Trail Bookstore
“Erika Holzer has written a searing, unforgettable exploration of contemporary crime. Her novel, Eye for an Eye , is a look at the shattering aftermath of a horrible crime through the eyes of a modern American woman. ... Eye for an Eye provides a glimpse inside the mind of one of the most passionate and politically incorrect women writing today, Erika Holzer.” »More
— Patrick B. McGuigan, The Daily Oklahoman
“Do you ever get so mad you could spit when you watch the local evening news? Do you feel helpless when you hear about drug dealers serving a fraction of their sentences, or violent criminals committing murder on parole, or victims clobbered twice over by a justice system with a distorted sense of values? If so, then Erika Holzer's gripping new thriller may be just the book for you. Dedicated “[T]o the victims of crime, dead or alive,” it's a brutal, bone-chilling view of the phenomenon of vigilante justice.” »More
— Helle Bering-Jensen, The Washington Times
“The primal nature of revenge makes it a compelling theme in literature. In her novel Eye for an Eye, Erika Holzer takes private revenge to a seemingly inevitable extension by showing how it can evolve into an organized system of vigilantism, exacting retribution and maintaining order when the legal system breaks down. ... The underlying frustration and rage that Eye for an Eye so dramatically portrays is real.” »More
— Kenneth Kryvoruka, The Federal Bar Journal
“Erika Holzer's novel Eye for an Eye is very Aristotelian. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. Everything in it propels the reader forward as relentlessly as a coiled spring. It proceeds inexorably toward a crashing climax. Each development is a surprise to the reader as it occurs, yet appears in retrospect as either causally or dramatically inevitable. Character and setting are there, but they are always subordinate to the plot, as Aristotle said they should be. Also very much in evidence is a fourth element, which Aristotle considered optional — theme, or underlying idea illustrated by the action — making Eye for an Eye a very Randian novel.” »More
— John Hospers, Liberty Magazine
“Vigilante novels and movies have become a genre, if you count renegade-cops-on-the-rampage stories. Eye for an Eye goes way beyond them, playing variation after variation on the standard theme — often ironically, brilliantly. In the early chapters, the novel sets things up by skillfully stoking what might be called the 'vigilante urge.' The crime that begins the story would send an Albert Schweitzer running for his sawed-off shotgun. And the response of the so-called criminal justice system ... oh, that it were fiction! (By the way, this part of Eye for an Eye is so well done that the novel might have meaning and appeal beyond the purely literary for victims of violent crimes — a huge potential audience.)” »More
— Roger Donway, The IOS Journal
“If you don't give a hang about philosophy, you may just want to read it for the plot twists and the contrast of brutal inner-city violence with an upscale protagonist: a successful and sexy public-relations expert who's a 46-year-old grandmother at the height of her personal and professional powers. But if you're interested in political/moral issues, this book does successfully what we always hope fiction will do: it raises important and provocative questions while purporting merely to entertain us.” »More
— Joan Kennedy Taylor, Laissez Faire Books
Reflections. The diamond at her throat, flashing splinters of orange. The crystal chandelier, out of range of her roaring fire but vibrating with candlelight.
Her tight grip on the telephone? Reflection of a holiday mood gone sour. "Karen, for God's sake," she protested into the phone. "What are you trying to do, scare me to death? Tonight of all nights," she said, willing her voice to turn calm.
"Utter privacy is a mixed blessing. Isn't it?"
"I love it now," she lied. "After three years, even a city dweller gets used to the Westchester woods." But she never had.
"So much crime, these days. It worries me. I was reading — "
"On the West Side of Manhattan, maybe," she cut in, "not out here." But she'd been reading about it, too. Burglars from New York and Jersey heading for the suburbs, looking for bigger game. Burglars with wheels. And what else, guns? Knives?
"Sarah, your alarm system — "
"My security blanket, you mean," she admitted dryly. "We had it upgraded while you were away. It goes off in the police station now. They're on the scene in five minutes, tops. Hold on while I check the roast." On the way to the kitchen, she glanced in the mirror. The full treatment, she thought, pleased with this reflection, at least. Black satin lounging pajamas. Slippers with stiletto-thin heels. Blond hair looking sleek, straight and sexy, just the way Mark liked it. »More
Eye for an Eye, the Movie
Paramount Pictures' Eye for an Eye
Worried about violent crime? You're not irrational. You're three times more likely to be a victim of violent crime now than was the typical adult of 1960.
Why? For one thing, because of decades of efforts to supplant justice with mercy, punishment with therapy, prisons with "corrections." In today's "justice" system, the only rights regarded as absolute are those which liberal courts have invented for criminals.
Films presenting that perspective are rare. Dirty Harry and Death Wish were the prototypes: revenge-fantasy thrillers, in which the intimate impact of crime on real victims quickly took a back seat to nonstop, shoot-'em-up action.
The gripping new film, Eye for an Eye, breaks the mold.
It's a serious, searing examination of the horrific personal impact of violent crime. And it's a damning indictment of how our impotent legal system is... »More
Behind the Scenes: Eye for an Eye, the Movie
“Quiet on the set! We're rolling!”
That did it. I hadn't been “on the set” of Eye For An Eye five minutes and already I was hooked by the drama rolling in front of me like a rapidly unfurling carpet.
A red carpet, as it turned out. This was my movie Paramount Pictures was making. Shooting in Los Angeles had begun only two days earlier.
Once cast — and especially crew — realized that the woman in jeans, running shoes, and hand-painted denim shirt had written the novel on which the film was based, I was shown every courtesy, given insider tips, and — most exciting — made privy to technical explanations of... »More
Interview with Erika Holzer
Full Context: Tell us about your early life and how it influenced your thinking.
Erika Holzer: My roots are in upstate New York — the Albany, Troy, Saratoga Springs area. My dad was a small-town lawyer — very much a Norman Vincent Peale type of guy. He believed in the power of positive thinking. No question that rubbed off on me. While he was no intellectual, he was a self-made man who went directly from high school to law school, established his own practice, and ended up doing very well — put four children through college and grad school! My mom was born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn. Big city girl ends up in the provincial town of Mechanicville, New York. She was very much the romantic and an avid reader of all kinds of literature — not to mention one terrific storyteller. That, too, influenced me from a very early age.
FC: Ayn Rand was a big literary influence. How were you introduced to her philosophy of Objectivism?
Holzer: I have a vivid memory of my husband-to-be handing me Atlas Shrugged. We were in our second year at New York University School of Law. Just as we were about to do some serious studying for a final exam in a course called “Sales and Secured Transactions,” he hands me a thick hardcover and says almost offhandedly, "This book will change your life." Well, the first thing “this book” did was cause me to almost flunk my Sales exam! Not long after that, we started attending some lectures on Objectivism and began meeting people involved in the philosophy. We didn't get to know Ayn Rand for some years.
FC: Speaking of meeting people, what was it like meeting Rand for the first time?
Holzer: It's an interesting story. At the time, I was teaching at... »More
Covers from Alternate Editions