Thursday, December 8, 2016

Stephenie Meyer's New Crime Fiction Novel

I was interested to see how Meyer had done with a spy thriller.  I thought she deserved a chance.   I gave her one.  I wasn't disappointed.
  • The book opens with a steady pace and sufficient intrigue.  Because the early chapters are centred wholly on the protagonist, it is easy to get to know her (and if not like her, at the very least respect her). 
  • A quarter of the way in I did little excited hiccups because Meyer drew back the curtains and there -- glittering in blockbuster style -- was the conceit; confirmed.  It wasn't poetry or brilliance, it was entertaining and the promise of more entertainment to come.  I was hooked from there...admittedly the part of me that is a sucker more than the part who likes surprises.
  • Her wordsmithing has bumped up a few notches and felt more mature in tone and form.  It was intelligent and well-plotted, albeit predictable (I knew what lay behind the curtain)
  • I laughed out loud numerous times.  Great dialogue, great silly scenes.  It only got better the more time I spent with the characters...whom I came to really care for.
  • Meyer has done some research.  
  • I can see why comparisons are being drawn to Jason Bourne.  I also found some similarities to Patricia Cornwell and John  Grisham...only I preferred this much more -- it felt less like one of 50 formulaic books and instead like a smash of a blockbuster love-thriller. 
  • It must be acknowledged that this is the most Meyer aspect of this book; she's a romantic idealist, and romance is a central part of the narrative, although the driving arc is the crime mystery/thriller. 
    I dug the love story more than I probably should have. There are flaws (nothing so glaring as a hundreds-year-old vampire stalker pursuing a relationship with a sulky teenager), but I did. not. care. after things got started. (There's some insta-, and I let it go.)
  • There is no swearing (this is edited out and instead reported as colourful speech), sex is alluded to but not described, and there is sensual hankering (again, this is the most Meyer aspect).  There are a lot of drugs...mostly administered by the protagonist, a.k.a. The Chemist herself.  
Conclusion: If you would like pulpier version of Grisham/Cornwell/Patterson, give Meyer's latest a whirl. 

Review copy received from Hachette.

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