Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quicksand by Iris Johansen * * *

Quicksand by Iris Johansen is a story about child kidnapping and abuse. The villain, Kistle, controls everyone by threatening the life of a child. If you love that plot idea, it was done much better in A Book for Today: 24 Hours by Greg Iles.

The jacket promises paranormal elements, truly heinous villains, and intriguing multi-dimensional heroes. I figure two out of three is not bad. The characters are flat, over-told, stupid, and predictable. The speak in cliches.
"Seeing her face was almost worth everything."
"Yes, that's how I feel."
I found I rarely believed the character feelings as they were mostly told either be the authorial voice or some other character who had melodramatic insights.
She would go on forever because she could do nothing else. Bonnie was the beloved. She could no more stop searching than she could not draw breath.
Consider another typical example where Kistle calls reporting he has kidnapped another child:
Watch the evening news tonight. Her name is Laura Ann.
Given the alternatives of calling the authorities and the news broadcasters, what will our protagonists/victims do?
Watch the news. Five o'clock. It was going to seem like forever.
My feelings exactly - waiting for some recognizable human behavior seems like forever.

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