From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 07 Jul 2004

<<Anyone else have this problem, where some writers' plots just offer no surprises?>>

That, in itself, does not bother me. Most of Constantine's plots have no surprises (in his first novel, he tells you who committed a murder, and the rest of the novel is centered on Balzic's comings and goings), but the telling is so brilliant that I keep reading. There are surprises, but they have to do with psychology and the sense of place, not the plot. In this, Constantine is similar to Simenon, whose plots are sometimes skeletal and announced at the beginning.

My problem with Lehane is not the plots but the characters. Like you, I have trouble believing in them. Since I don't read mainly for thrills, that's the kiss of death for me.

What did Chandler say about the best mysteries? I can't recall the exact quote, but the gist was: the best ones you would read even if the auhtor told you who done it right away.



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