Oct 17, 2007

The Quickie

How shabby can a plot or characters get? I remember a book I read long ago by Zane in which the character was not well created and everything under the sun happened to her by the end of the book. The Quickie by James Patterson is much like the title suggests, a quickly written novel to fill the space between two better written novels. I already reviewed Step on a Crack and You've Been Warned.

Unlike those two books, which has suspense and plot twists, The Quickie was a roller coaster ride you wanted to get off quickly. When I reached about halfway through the novel and it ended in a shootout with the bad guy, I thought thank goodness that is over. But it wasn't over. I handled the transition to the subplot behind Detective Scott Thayer's odd behavior and ultimately his death relatively well, but I could not absorb the other twists thrown my way.

***Spoiler Alert***

Lead character Detective Lauren Stillwell of the NYPD is not a good detective at all. She had no idea Scott Thayer was playing on her vulnerabilities and insecurities, and she is a "tough as nails" cop. She was equally blind where her husband was concerned, and still wanted to save his sorry butt even after learning he has another "wife and child" with twins on the way, not to mention he committed robbery, shipped off millions to be laundered in a foreign nation, oh and killed her lover boy Scott Thayer. Nevermind, Paul's sordid past.

How is it that Patterson can write this many novels in one year without making mistakes? At one point she is driving around in her mini cooper when she has to head home to tend to "brownies" when she leaves to return to the scene she has a completely different car--did she misplace the mini, was it beamed away while she was looking for her husband or hiding the evidence that he killed Scott, or was it the editors and Patterson forgetting to keep the story consistent? Miraculously, and this is the part that really got me thinking about Patterson's production levels this year, Lauren gets pregnant and it is determined she's been pregnant a lot longer than she initially thinks, especially given she just slept with Thayer 6 days before the news. However, many places in the book, the character refers to her and her husband's stagnant love life at home...which leads the reader to believe they are not sleeping together. So, I ask you how did she get pregnant? Immaculate conception or his sperm jumped through the air when they passed one another in the mornings. I have no idea.

There are so many plot twists and subplots in this book, it was driving me insane. The narration was all over the place and not tied together tightly enough for me to believe in it. The main character is a detective; Patterson writes about them all the time, but this one has to be the dumbest detective I have run across.

***End Spoiler***

I suggest you skip this one and read one of the other two I have mentioned. They are much better books.

Someone asked me if I think it is James Patterson's use of co-authors that has hindered the plots and entertainment of some of his latest books, but I can tell you that is not the case. Step on a Crack had the same co-author, Michael Ledwidge, as the Quickie and it was a better book. I think it has more to do with Patterson's schedule; he is cranking out too many books per year these days. I say slow down man, we can wait for a better book.


Anna said...

I couldn't agree with you more about this book. Maybe I should get started on my own review of it. LOL

She was an extremely flawed character. I mean we all have flaws, but I'm talking about flawed in the sense that the author didn't really know who she was!

Serena said...

Yeah, there was a lot of waffling about her character traits. I think maybe in this case, the co-author and author were fighting about who she should be on the page and it was very distracting.

The plots were too convoluted as well and often the revelations came out of left field. I figured Paul had another woman, but a whole family and a criminal past she knew nothing about...come on now. what kind of detective is she. I can see her maybe missing his past and loving him anyway, but to not see Thayer's issues beforehand was a bit too much to swallow.

Anna said...

I think it's funny that apparently he spent so much time in D.C. with this other family, yet was always home, albeit late, with her every evening. How much time does one person have to split among two families in two different states???

Oh, and the we just posed for wedding pictures for the child's sake thing is so dumb! Oh, and he loved his other family--the one with kids!--so much that he left all of his money to the know-nothing detective. And I think the only good detective was her partner...everyone else was too stupid to detect the cover up.

Serena said...

yeah the story should have been about Mike instead. He was a much better character.

WE better stop this or we will have nothing to talk about at lunch...if we have a lunch today!