Archive for 'Ripley, Ann'
Every writer starts with a blank page and makes many choices during the course of writing a book. The choices they make form the characters, plot, setting, and everything else vital to a good book. Here are some of the choices Ripley had to makeâ€¦
Our heroine has just come face to face with the man who murdered and dismembered a young woman. He has been released from a mental hospital after just four years of confinement and crashes a party in his old neighborhood. Since she discovered his previous crime, his presence terrifies our heroine, so she leaves the party early, goes home and
A) locks all the doors and hides under the bed for a week.
B) locks all the doors and calls the police to get a restraining order.
C) arranges to be in the house by herself with the front door unlocked so he can come in and attack her.
Our heroine has realized that she has had an intruder in her home twice and has discovered a potentially lethal booby trap in her garden shed. Being security conscious, she immediately
A) moves to a hotel for the night and the following day has a security system installed and buys a guard dog.
B) moves to a hotel for the night and the following day changes all the locks on the house.
C) stays in the house that night, has all the locks changed the next day, and then puts an extra key in the fake rock in the front flower bed where the killer can (and does) easily find it.
Our author creates two characters who are self-centered and self-important. They are reluctant to cooperate with the police because their time is too valuable for their questioning and their house and yard too nice to be searched. They treat the police as bumbling idiots and the husband keeps making phone calls to the chief of police to try to â€œinfluenceâ€ the investigation. When this doesnâ€™t work in their favor, they secretly peer through their neighborsâ€™ windows at night to gain information to use against them. These characters are
A) the next victims of the killer because they are so obnoxious.
B) the killers themselves because they are so unlikable and the reader wonâ€™t feel badly when they are imprisoned or killed in a shootout.
C) the heroine and her husband.
It is an unfortunate fact that Ripley chose C for all three questions. The first two scenarios show a lack of creativity in plot and character development that is insulting to the reader. And the third thing is just weird. Why would you create main characters that are unpleasant? The husband is an officious ass and the wife is little better. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to read books about characters that I enjoy in stories that are well thought out.
Did I guess it? Yes. Will I read another one. No.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at reviewedbyliz.com Â©2006