Books : What's This SF Novel by Mostly Mystery Writer?

What's This SF Novel by Mostly Mystery Writer?

This SF book was written by a writer known more for mysteries. Came out back in the 80s or 90s, maybe even the early 2000s. Set in a dystopian future. A group of criminals, bandits or whatever, all males, numbering around 4-6. One member is needlessly violent. One is a young man or boy with retardation or some other mental handicap. I think he was the main character. The boy stops the group leader from killing the violent one at one point.
They break into a home where there's a small gap in the perimeter scanners of the home and this is where the incident of the boy stopping the violent one being killed occurs. I only read about 1/4-1/3 of the book, so I don't know how it ends or what the major story theme was. It was a full length novel, not a short story.
The setting was, I think, a wasteland with isolated pockets of modern technology. The home they break into was off by itself, I think. The book was recent or new when I read it.
I think the group leader wanted to kill the violent one because he had needlessly killed one of the people in the house they had invaded.

I've had this question up over at Goodreads' "I Need to Know" group for a good while, but it hasn't been identified. Please don't suggest just an author. I thought I would recognize the author's name and many have been suggested, but it hasn't helped. I'm beginning to suspect it's an obscure, flop book by a well known known author.

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It's all like some bad movie.

Re: What's This SF Novel by Mostly Mystery Writer?

My favorite anonymous author was "Kilgore Trout"....who wrote "Venus on the Half Shell"...

Re: What's This SF Novel by Mostly Mystery Writer?

Just a bump back up.

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It's all like some bad movie.

Re: SF Novel by Mostly Mystery Writer

"This SF book was written by a writer known more for mysteries."

That screams James Patterson to me, but the plot isn't familiar.

Re: SF Novel by Mostly Mystery Writer

Yeah, I took a look at his stuff, but didn't spot anything familiar. Thanks for the suggestion.

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It's all like some bad movie.
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