Saturday, June 16, 2012

Poision Flower - Thomas Perry

Poison Flower is the seventh book in Thomas Perry’s Jane Whitefield series.

I’m a huge fan of the Jane Whitefield books, having previously blogged on how much I enjoyed the series and how Perry is a masterful suspense writer. So I was eager to read about Jane’s latest adventures.

Overall, I have very mixed feelings about the book and as a fan felt quite disappointed. The narrative was a bit choppy and the part of the Jane helping someone ‘disappear’ was dealt with in a rather desultory and mechanical manner.  

The second half of the book was Jane in ‘revenge’ mode, with the twist being that instead of making someone disappear she is actively seeking someone on the run. There was a distinct lack of suspense as the ending was quite rush and Jane seems to get her revenge in a rather quick and easy manner.

Some of the violence and torture scenes in the book made me think that I had accidently found myself in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series!

Plus the main ‘badie’ in the book could have done with some character development, apart from the fact that he is a psychopath we don’t really know (or are made to care) exactly why?

I really, really wanted to like this book, but kept thinking that in this seventh book Perry has really struggled to keep Jane  developing and growing as a charater.

I think it gets hard for any author to keep a series consistenly fresh and a character going after so many books without at some point having them 'jump the shark' (see for example of Patricia Cornwell and Charlaine Harris).

For me, the only author who has done this consistently is thriller writer  Jeffrey Deaver. Across his various series (Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance), Deaver delivers books that keep his characters growing, developing and always has original but believable storylines.

I am hoping that Deaver continues to deliver, as am about to read his latest Kathryn Dance book "XO".

When has a series, jumped the shark for you?