Sunday, July 17, 2016

Crimson Shore, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

My dislike for this novel began at page two. The hero, Pendergast, is implied to be a 19th century aristocrat in a 21st century setting, brilliant, with a Sherlock Holmes vibe. The tone continues throughout, with the hero's arrogance and hauteur dripping through the dialog. What an unlikeable main character, and his associate, lead character Constance, is just as bad. Back to page two, where Pendergast, an FBI special agent, asks Constance to look something up -- and can't recall the word Google even as he remembers "a large mathematical number." Oh for heaven's sake! That's just silly. And what exactly would be a large, non-mathematical, number? Sigh.

After a few more pages, I vaguely recalled the characters. Indeed, I'd read another of the authors' books in this series in early 2008. That was the eighth in the series, and this current novel is the 15th. The writing seems to have gone downhill in the intervening years. But at least the authors are able to keep the plot moving forward enough to be engaging. I kept reading.

Really there are two books here. The first 75% of the novel is a mystery and satisfactorily (if not quite weirdly) solved. Then the other part. Really confusing, but perhaps if I had the context of those missing six volumes it might have made more sense. A cliff hanger, a mysterious evil presence, bad things happening. Yikes.

I'm curious enough to read the next book - clearly there will be one.

As mentioned, I disliked this novel. But still, I'm considering that the books I've missed are probably available at the public library for free... Gosh, I hate getting sucked in by such miserable characters and ham-fisted writing.

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