From: Michael Etchison ( etchison@mleconsulting.com)
Date: 18 Mar 2005

The key to my major complaint about Bruen is the spoiler (you've been warned). As far as I could see, the profiler came out of thin air. The basis for the profiler's description of the perp came out of thin air. And what does Taylor do with the "information" provided by the profiler? He
_forgets_ it even when, practically in the next breath, the text describing his trip with the perp is in language very close to that of the profile. As I recall, Taylor does not even have the excuse of having "hit himself on the head" with anything in the brief interval. He just flat misses it altogether -- just long enough to let the wrong man be killed in retribution. Then he says, "Oops."

My secondary complaint is that the drugs -- sorry, but as a nonuser maybe I missed something here -- are decoration, not integral to the plot; that the books and music -- at least those I know something about -- don't bear on much of anything in the story, but amount to another kind of decoration, neither contributing to the story nor illuminating the character(s). Both kinds of decoration struck me as the author's attempt to demonstrate that his character -- and therefore he -- is one really hip cat.

This criticism, as criticism is wont to do, sounds much harsher than my overall evaluation. I'm not saying the book is trash or worse; only that it had structural weaknesses, which probably could have been avoided. And I look forward to listmembers' turning that standard on me when(ever) my effort is published.

Michael Etchison

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Mar 2005 EST