Some time back in like June or so, the Finance Guy loaned me The Vanished Man by Jeffrey Deaver. It’s a New York Times Bestselling Mystery by the author of The Bone Collector and some other book I can’t remember the name of. Of course, as I do with all books that men push on me, I avoided it like the plague.
But then he started in with the asking what I thought of the book. For awhille I claimed it would be the next book I read as soon as I finished the book I was currently reading. But eventually he caught on to that deception, because the FG is a smarty. Eventually, I just caved in and read the damn book. One, because I genuinely like the FG, and two I thought it would be good to read something outside my field of taste. You know, push the ol’ literary boundaries and what not.
When the FG was nagging me about the book, he said he gave it to me because he really enjoyed it. He said that since I was so opinionated and liked to read he was curious to know what I thought. Yeah, he’s totally in for it.
The book sucked ass. It was 490 pages of author deception, shitty, cliche characters, and boring filler. The Vanished Man is a mystery, so I expect some sort of coyness from the author and the characters, but this was ridiculous. In the book the murderer guy is a magician/illusionist called The Conjurer, so there was quite a bit of sleight of hand in the story to begin with. But you would think with the author would take extra pains to make sure that the characters were pretty forthright with the reader. Wrong. The author was totally deceptive and coy with the reader and that’s not fair. And what’s worse, it was poorly done deception so you knew when the author was giving you a load of bullshit to make you think things were actually as they appeared. Then like 100 pages later you’d find out that yes, all that was bullshit to make you think something else.
As if that weren’t bad enough the book was populated with such shitty, stereotyped characters I could hardly bear it. The foxy lady cop whose dad was a cop and had to follow in his footsteps, the hard-scrabbled, damaged good-guy mastermind, the apprentice/ingenue who wants nothing but approval from her demanding-yet-loving mentor.