I just finished another of my Dollar Store book finds. This one was Wheel of Darkness by New York Times bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I’ve read two others of their works, also Dollar Store finds, Reliquary and Relic. I enjoyed all three of these action packed thrillers. The last one was, perhaps, too action packed. It ran nearly 400 pages and, frankly, could have used a little pruning. There’s a point when any emotion sustained for too long begins to sag like pulled taffy. Terror is no exception. When the tedium of tension becomes too great, I begin to race through the text, seeking resolution.
Like comedy, timing in suspense is everything. Too many calamities piled up on one another is likely to produce laughter rather than adrenalin. Let’s face it, the mind has a limited attention span.
The series of disasters in Wheel of Darkness didn’t go that far but almost. I admit, I found myself longing for a good Dan Brown, mystery, like the Da Vinci Code, a short page turner that kept me hooked to the end. Brown’s work is formulaic. But oh what a formula.
Another master of suspense is William Peter Blatty. The Exorcist was a novel I couldn’t be put down until I’d turned the last page. Even then, its terror persisted so that for two nights, I slept with my lights on.
Falling in love with one’s verbiage is one of the sins of a poor writer. Not saying enough to engage the reader is also a sin. Somewhere between the two lies that golden mean of success. Those who find their way to that happy middle ground are writers worth reading.
(Courtesy of wikipedia.org)