Friday, August 28, 2009

This morning I finished Likely to Die by Linda Fairstein.

I don't know if this is a typical book in this series about a NY assistant district attorney, but it is a very weak book.

It seems the author, a NY assistant district attorny, is too focused on capturing the realities of her life in the novel. For example, there are too many characters thrown at the reader, with little purpose for many of them. Presumably these all map to real people the author deals with, but putting them in the novel without giving them significance in the story is pointless. There are also significant digressions where one character tells another about various sex crimes they are prosecuting or need help investigating. The author points out in a post-script that these details are all taken from real cases, but who cares? She seems to ignore whether or not it helps the story she is trying to tell.

In addition, the protagonist is almost inert for most of the novel. Since the plot never gets to the point of an actual trial, something surprising in and of itself for a book with a trial lawyer as the main character, the protagonist spends most of the book alternating following the police around as they investigate and relaxing while the police are off investigating things.

The book also fails on basic writing tasks. For example, there is an issue raised about a possible relationship the protagonists date and the murder, the protagonist is shown being very concerned about it and then it is never cleared up by the end of book.

Overall, one of the weakest books I've read in a long time. Too bad - I was hoping for something interesting because there are few legal thrillers told from the prosecution point of view.

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