Dominique Browning’s recent NYT article brought up a topic I’ve been returning to more and more recently: the joys of plot-based suspense fiction. I’m probably way behind the internet-times in commenting on this (after all, it’s been a couple months since the article was published, not hours) but I wanted to touch on something personal, anyway.
I have always loved the plot driven novel, whether sci-fi, detective, fantasy, or whatever. Unlike Ms. Browning, I’ve never had a problem with reading such books on planes or when doing any kind of travel. We clearly differ in the kinds of fiction we turn to, as I’d rather flip through the Sky Mall than slog through George R.R. Martin’s page-long descriptions of every character that enters the throne room or forest or whatever. Still, I agree with the sentiment. At this point, it’s not a matter of me admitting what I love, it’s a matter of letting some things go.
I officially announce that I will no longer read the novels of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
Oh, it was fun for awhile. The pseudo-science of the early books was less specific and therefore more magical than the clinical Michael Crichton stuff. The New York City subway location was maybe the best part of Reliquary. The end of Ice Limit was so thrilling and the final twist so, well, silly, that it was impossible not to love. But it only got worse.
I could handle Special Agent Pendergast as a modern Sherlock Holmes who knows everything, has a vast fortune, yet also works for the FBI. I let it slide when he discovered his eternally youthful great aunt in a secret New York City lair. I tried not to think about how his Moriarty was an evil brother named Diogenes. But when said evil brother knocked up the nearly immortal young great aunt, and she then pushed him into an erupting volcano, that’s when I went over the edge as well.
So, Lincoln, Child, I’m sorry but we’re done. I may be lost for a little bit while I search for new series, but, thankfully, there’s no shortage of candy on the shelves.