Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Power Play by Catherine Coulter

Buckner Park
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Middle of March
Saturday, late afternoon

She always ran at sunset.

I love reviewing books by this author because they are so dumbed down that it is fun to write about them. However, I resist reviewing books by this author because my natural instinct is not to give this crap any more exposure than it already has. You know there is something wrong when the chapter heading is twice as long with three times the amount of information as the opening line - an opening line that has zero conflict, little setting and a mysterious pronoun impossible to care anything about.

She rarely ran all-out, rather she maintained a smooth, steady pace because this was her thinking time.

Not that I really care, but I don't think this line makes much sense when one looks closely at it. The way to understand this line is to assume a thing or two and read between the lines but this can lead to many interpretations. The author almost seems to be missing in action and isn't helping the reader out much at all and not least of all because of the pronounology. What we may surmise here is that this pronoun can't run fast and think at the same time, which suggests some epic stupidity or mental issue, like those people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Or perhaps one may infer that running at a smooth pace is the only way she can think, as if her legs are somehow attached directly to her brain.

The third line:

Thankfully, it wasn't freezing cold on this early evening.

Okay, so which is it: late afternoon or early evening and if Ms. Pronoun always runs at sunset and since it's March does the sun set in early evening or late evening? Anyway, this line is about the weather, so who cares what time it is.

So, this is this pronoun's thinking time. Here is a sentence that explains what thinking time means to this pronoun:

Diplomatic protocols with endless snafus, relations with Her Majesty's government, and now too often about people who wanted to blow up their neighbors, or London, still fighting out thousands of years of hatreds seemingly bred into their bones. Sometimes there are victories. Thankfully she is good at her job...

That's the second time on the first page the adverb thankfully is used. In any case, if this is how she thinks, her mind's pretty cluttered as it manifests a series of sentence fragments, that reads like incoherent mental shrapnel.

On this occasion she's thinking about why someone would want to kill her when lo and behold someone tries to kill her when a car tries to hit her. Think it and it shall be. We never even learn if this pronoun has a name. Thankfully, chapter 2 begins without this pronoun.

He turned stone-cold and his focus narrowed laser-thin on the man who held the woman in a choke hold.

But begins with another pronoun. Why? At least in this case we can ignore the pronoun because of the conflict in the form of someone choking someone.

First thing said:

Cursing. Yawn. Sounds like the person choking another person is in grade three: "I'm big now; listen to me swear!"

The pronoun had been walking to his jeep with a large Starbucks coffee (What's that? A grande or a venti? Because go into any Starbucks and ask for a large something and the chances are they won't understand what you're talking about.) when he interrupts this carjacking. Everyone can relate to that, yeah? Actually only people in these type of crap novels are confronted with violence everywhere they go, that's why they're in books, I guess. But the believabilty factor is hard to swallow.

Honestly, this opening is like every other opening of this genre. Where do these writers get their opening ideas? At the mall?

Verdict: Fail

Was there ever any doubt?

Rudy Globird

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