Saturday, April 7, 2007

Blind Spot

BLIND SPOT by Terri Persons (Doubleday, c2007, ISBN 0-385-51869-7) screamed, "THIS IS YOUR KIND OF BOOK!" at me when it came across my desk at the library.

And it was...kinda.

Set in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bernadette Saint Clare has been transferred to the St. Paul office with the FBI from Louisiana. As an agent, she uses her 'gift' of being able to see violent crime through the eyes of the criminal to help with the solve rate. Before she is even settled in to her condo and office, Bernadette is handed a case where the dead are bound and extremities removed. I thought the story was very fast-moving and I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of the tale.

The first sentence:

Humidity rolling off the Mississippi River simmered with the smell of fried garlic and onions and shrimp and sausage, the air thick enough to stab with a knife.

So, what was it that made it only a so-so read for me?

What I didn't like was the dialogue. It kept yanking me out of the story. It was kinda like the author couldn't decide if she was writing a book or a play. I have never seen dialogue written this way in a book before and it was very distracting.

Let me give you an example (from the book):

"Whatever you want," said the blond. He patted his partner on the shoulder, and the two of them turned around and thumped back down the hall.

Garcia: "You think Sherlock's sister is involved."

"Up to her significant eyeballs."

Now, the : used in dialogue is very heavy in the beginning and middle and less pronounced toward the end but, as I said, it would just bring me to a stand still in my reading. Every other speaker was using a : instead of a said, or exclaimed or asked with the normal , followed by the "".

It was a very obvious difference to most books that I read (and as a librarian, I read a lot of books!) and it just wasn't for me. Has anyone else seen or used this type of writing in dialogue? What did you think?

But that's just might not be bothered by it. And besides, murderers and psychics make for a great combination.

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