Tuesday, December 31, 2013
What I'm Reading Now - The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver
Yes, I read lowbrow, best-selling, by the numbers junk once in a while. I'm not afraid to admit it. And while he's not Dan Brown or James Patterson-style bad, Deaver can be a bit formulaic in his writing. That's all right. Sometimes you don't need to think too much about it - just enjoy it.
Although there is a proviso: if I'm reading a Jeffery Deaver book, it must be a Lincoln Rhyme novel. I've tried reading some of his other recurring characters and couldn't even finish the book, but I sort of like Rhyme; he's got a bit of Perry Mason to him. A bit mean, a bit uncaring and, obviously, in a wheelchair, Rhyme is pretty unconventional as a mystery novel hero, so there's that. Deaver does have issues with making everyone in his novels, heroes and villains alike, just WAY too smart and perfect, but hey, it's still fun.
And as a writer, it's informative to look at how Deaver crafts a novel. He's notorious for throwing in false leads and numerous surprise endings and seeing how he sets the reader up to buy into the premise (or not, at times) is very useful.
If you're looking to start with Jeffery Deaver, The Bone Collector is by far the most well-know Lincoln Rhyme novel, although I'd recommend The Coffin Dancer or The Empty Chair instead.
By the way, if you're curious what I thought of the last book, head back to that post - I'll add on a short review of each book when I'm done reading.
And I'm Done Update:
So the absolute worst thing that can be said about a thriller/mystery novel is that the novel was, well, a bit boring. And so it was with The Kill Room.
I think Deaver fell into what I like to call the CSI: Sheboygan trap. Shows like CSI and Law and Order and NCIS like to "borrow" plot lines from time to time from real world headlines. They take a notorious actual case and turn it into a notorious fictional TV case. That's all well and good (if lazy), but the problem is: we already know the story. We've already read about it on the internet. We've seen it on the news. How can we be enthralled with it when it's the third or fourth time we've gone through the story?
And that's The Kill Room in a nutshell. In broad terms, it's about an American government agency killing possibly innocent citizens in other countries using drones. Well, you either care about that issue or you don't, but either way, it's sure not the first time you've heard about it. I got the feeling Deaver sort of mailed this one in.
Onward and upward.