Lukewarm verdicts

I think I am going to have to stop reading genre fiction for a bit, as I think I may be getting jaded. I haven’t really enjoyed the last few books I’ve read; either it is the books or it is me, but they have all seemed rather mechanical.

I just read two "legal thrillers" : Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline and Solomon vs Lord by Paul Levine. Both came highly recommended by various reviewers, but I found both uninvolving. Not bad, by any means, but the first in particular seemed very mechanical. Both would make good movies, I think, but the plots took precedence over characterisation. In the former, a glamorous judge is caught out doing a "Looking for Mr Goodbar" at the same time as one of her cases turns into murder. The author does not make an attempt to address why her main character acts this way; the behaviour seems merely there as a plot device and is forgotten as soon as it is no longer necessary for that purpose. In the latter, two lawyers of opposite disposition are forced into partnership, and the "sparks fly" (or try to). Both books feature a child with disabilities in that (to me) sentimental and over-romanticised, respectful style beloved of mainstream American movies but rather far from the realities.

Neither book is bad, exactly, just superficial; either would make a good holiday read. I’m going to have a bash at Anita Shreve’s latest paperback next, though, for a change of pace.

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