Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Review of "Gone" by Jonathan Kellerman

This is another Alex Delaware mystery. In this story Hollywood wannabes are showing up dead or missing. Eventually the tracks lead to an acting school and a family trio.

I kept hoping this book would get more interesting - I had started it and put it down before because it wasn't engaging. This time I was determined to finish it, but it was an effort. It's slooooooow.

I can tell you immediately what I disliked most about it. Every time you meet a new character you are subjected ad nausium to physical descriptions. I enjoy picking up one or two interesting points about physicality that crop up time and again to advance the plot, or give us more information about the character or quickly remind us who the character is if he or she hasn't shown up in awhile. Kellerman's use of description is more like name dropping than true characterization. I don't care about name dropped shoes if they aren't essential to the story. In Kellerman’s case it’s shoes, jacket, pants, hair cut….and on and on and on.

Kellerman is a good writer as far as technique is concerned but in this book he doesn't have much to work with. It's a weakly plotted book.... no real surprises, a few twists - I wasn't expecting a torture chamber at the end, the chamber was gratuitous anyway. The major problem with this book is that you don't care enough about anyone to get exercised about their demise other than in a general way, like reading about inconsequential strangers in an obituary. The villains are not very interesting, the missing people aren't all that interesting, Delaware's personal life isn't that interesting - there's some threat to his life but that is an obvious diversion rather than integral to the plot, his relationship with his detective friend is okay. I think the book is 2/3rds fill because there isn't really enough of it to have justified writing it.

No comments:

Post a Comment