My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I figured it out. I don’t want to read about unrealistically extraordinary people. I want to read about realistically ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Bookshelves: oh-puhleeze, the-movie-was-better, crime, detective, mystery, ugh, mary-sue-and-gary-stu, everyone-loved-it-but-me, abandoned, dnf
It starts out with several bangs, impressive feats of deduction and lots of cop-like pizzazz, but quickly settles in to lots of Lincoln Rhyme ordering people to “Do a scale count and medulla pigmentation comparison” and “Check for cellular compression” and “Get a polarized shot of the cellophane” and very little else. And that’s not even consistent. This brilliant criminalist sends a whole bunch of guys around the city buying veal shanks out of their own pockets to make a comparison, but sets an unusual knot aside for later like it’s not important? It doesn’t read like the author thought up a clever crime story and set about having his hero solve it. Rather, it reads like the author gathered together every high-hat forensic analytic test and piece of lab equipment known to man and then cobbled together a series of events to include each and every one of them. Being this impressed by all this amazing crap gets tiresome.
I’m going to make a confession now, and perhaps this is blasphemous for a lover of detective and mystery novels, but – gasp! – I never liked Sherlock Holmes all that much. He was so far above everyone and made so many deductions that were impossibly cerebral (and was so damned arrogant about it too) that I couldn’t connect with Holmes or the solution of the crime. I didn’t participate, didn’t try to figure it out myself; I just read about two geniuses, one good and one evil, pitted against each other, with the force of good winning in a way poor little uneducated and stupid me could never hope to identify with.
Same thing here. Pah.
And then there’s the unbelievability. Lincoln Rhyme has amassed three or four fancy college degrees, risen to the top of NYPD and solved thousands of cases, created a vast database of technical stuff like types of dirt and paint chips and tires, given himself a complete self-education about the history of all of the botanical, chemical, geological, zoological, engineering, and cultural aspects of New York City, written a couple of books, and spent the last three years learning how be a C-4 CSI patient, all before the age of, what, forty? (I know. I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to buy the entire New York City Police Department kowtowing to one retired criminalist and filling his bedroom with every million-dollar piece of equipment in existence and every staff member he asks for so he can single-handedly solve one kidnapping/murder, but I readily buy griffins and wizards and prophecies of The One. Yes, it is funny.) Pah again.
Lincoln Rhyme seems to be the only character who is at all developed, but I have to wonder how realistic he is, given the idiocy that was JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You. The supporting cast of captains and detectives and deputy commanders and whatever are interchangeable. Then we have the oh-so-clichéd saucy-and-obviously-gay personal assistant/nurse (so gay and saucy, apparently, that they made him a woman played by Queen Latifah in the movie) and the undiscovered-genius-and-sultry-beauty (a failed model, even! I am so freaking tired of the women in stories always being devastatingly beautiful) obviously-soon-to-be protégé/love interest. Pah the third.
DNF-ing at 36%.
I do like the references to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Not sure what it has to do with the story, and it doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with it, but that’s one of my favorite paintings. I just found it online and spent fifteen minutes or so immersed in it yet again, so that was nice.
Join me on Goodreads: View all my reviews