Here's a question for you, apropos yesterday's post: Should authors defend their work?
My personal answer would be... no. Why? Because the work should speak for itself. A writer's work should encompass whatever might provoke discussion with a plot line that justifies it's inclusion. But there are some things that shouldn't be in a book.
I will agree that in a previous LKH book, the sexual torture of a young boy added to the work, that readers knew the perpetrator should die a nasty death for the action because it was unconscionable within the framework of our current societal morals.
The current controversy is the illegality of the scene with the sixteen-year-old, and whether it contributes to the story itself. I haven't read the book, so I can't comment other than to say such a scene must serve a purpose and not be simply for a 'controversial' element.
Many, for example, laud Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code as brilliant and intriguing, except... it's poorly written and has other flaws.
J.K Rowling is a master of the Tom Swiftlys and, in later books, suffered from a need to make a story as long as possible.
I don't presume to compare Laurel K. Hamilton to Brown and Rowling, far from it - Hamilton is in a league of her own for narcissism and Mary-Sue-ism - and yet all three have written works that have elemental controversy:
Brown for daring to write that Mary Magdalena was more important to Jesus than the Vatican would like Christians to believe and J.K. Rowling for writing about witchcraft, magic, and inferring it's okay to have some. Magic that is.
These two issues created discussion and argument, brought into the light those issues that many see as sacred cows and not to be trifled with. Each generated an industry of tours, fans and yet more discussion.
All I can see of LKH's latest 'cutting edge' scene is outrage, disgust and offence; not intelligent discussion of important issues. To me, it's indefensible as it adds nothing but titilation to those interested in such scenes.