Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Book Review: Bad Twin
Bad Twin by Gary Troup
Last night I finished this book and it was probably the most awful book I've ever read. Written by a fictional character as a spin-off of the television show "Lost," it is a mystery loosely related to the show's back story. That is, it involves companies and institutions that exist in the "real life" of the show. Very meta.
I'm not a fan of mysteries, so maybe I'm a little biased to begin with. I expected a light and easy read. I expected some writing to chuckle at, but not something to be truly annoyed by. Shouldn't a private detective be able to do some deducing on his own? He seemed not to have an original thought at all. And when he reached a decision, some sort of epiphany, it never came through any sort of deliberation. It took about half the novel to even get the story along enough for us to understand what mystery we were sorting out. But even at that point I had faith that it would all turn out well.
People enjoy these sorts of books, so it should have all the necessary tricks. Soon enough we had a murder of one of the principal characters that occurred off the page, and then we were at the dramatic scene. Then something surprising and unexplained, not foretold, happens, then 'end scene.' Then the last few pages of the book are spent with three characters talking about everything and explaining what happened, why people were killed, the villain's motivations and the like. Then it was over. I hate it when movies have to explain it to you through dialogue at the end, and I'm certainly insulted when a book does it to me.
"Ugh," I said as I put the book on my night stand.
The book is believed to have been written by James Patterson and I would expect most of his books are better than this one. If I were him I'd claim that I wrote it through this character Gary Troup and he just isn't a very good writer.