Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
Never have I come so close to quitting any book -- and yet not doing it. Had this been any other author, I surely would have ditched it about a third of the way in. But Stephen White has written the best of the best crime fiction books around. I figured he deserved my attention through the whole of this last one in the series.
What's the problem? Sheer implausibility, utter nonsense, in fact, when it comes to what the characters we've come to know and love -- Dr. Alan, Sam Purdy, Lauren and most certainly Diane and Raul -- will do. Never, ever, would any of these people do the things we are supposed to believe they did, in this book. Feh.
Then too, there's a seriously disjointed plot. We actually know nothing at all about the crime that forms the motivation for everything else in this book -- I actually backtracked a whole hour at the beginning, thinking I must have missed something. I didn't. It's not there. Even now, I have no idea about what actually happened during that initial, underlying, event. I guess we're just supposed to accept the tidbits that are tossed our way, all the way through. Bad plotting. Really bad plotting.
But here's what I've realized. Stephen White has written that his books are actually parables or metaphors. When I first read that, I didn't understand what he meant -- where's the parable? But now I understand. So much of the plot of this book, and the predecessor, "Kill Me" deal with mercy killing, putting someone out of their misery when the time comes.
And now I get the metaphor: Knowing that this is the last book in the series, White has put all his characters out of their misery. Which makes it easier for us to accept, I guess. By writing a really ridiculous book at the end, we won't go on longing for more. .
If you loved the Alan Gregory books, do yourself and favor and skip this one. Remember them as they were: the best of the best.
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