Monday, June 8, 2009

Nowhere to go - Lee Child's Gone Tommorow

Somehow I keep going back to authors like Patricia Cornwell and Lee Child when I should just stop.

Is it the optimist or masochist i
n me?

I keep hoping that their latest book will be good and they get back the form that made them such fantastic thriller writers.

But alas, after reading Child’s 13th Jack Reacher novel, Gone Tomorrow, I have given up hope.

Gone Tomorrow is a strangely flat and subdued affair, with no real suspense or action. Actually, what action there is comes right at the end and is so formulaic and boring I almost slept through it.

It's really sad because part of the fun of reading Child’s Reacher novels like Echo Burning and Tripwire, are the action sequences and military setting. The first few books were fantastic, brillant opening sections that got you right into the story and just kept you turning that page in suspense.

This latest book is the opposite. The narrative is quite convoluted with a lot of unnecessary exposition. Child tries to get Reacher involved in wider political issues, like Afghanistan and US Senate race, but done so superficially and badly. Really he is better off leaving it to a master like Frederick Forsyth.

In the end I just didn’t care about the characters or story, it was a bit like “yeah I’ll keep reading, but is something interesting going to happen…like soon?”

I just think that there is a point where there is nowhere for the character to go anymore. No doubt about it, Child has definitely reached that point with Reacher in this novel.

I am happily back to Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series, book 4 Strip Jack.

Ahhhh, it's so nice to be reading good writing again. Rankin is such a brillant story teller.

Maybe reading Rankin has really spoilt me for other crime and thriller writers?

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