Friday, January 22, 2010

Book #4: Twenty-Seven Bones

Twenty-Seven Bones by Jonathan Nasaw

A friend let me borrow this book - she said it was great.

Not so much.

It had an interesting plot (husband and wife serial killers who think that that if they breathe in the last breath of a victim into their bodies, they'll live forever), was set in an interesting location (Caribbean island), but that's about it.

Things I didn't like:

1) Nasaw has a fascination with breasts (or "big 'uns," as he constantly refers to them). The men in the novel are persuaded to do abhorrent things because Mrs. Lady Serial Killer swings her boobs in their faces, and bam! - they're hypnotized into doing her bidding. Right.

2) In the middle of the action, Nasaw inserts dictionary-ish definitions of psychological or police terminology:
"It was becoming obvious that with the entire population of the Core in on the secret, that particular holdback (information known only to the killer and the cops, which the investigators could use to differentiate the true killer from the phonies, the crazies, and the publicity seekers who always seemed to pop up in this sort of case) was useless by now."
"Interesting statistic about Antisocial Peronality Disorder: it has the lowest suicide rate of any major psychiatric illness."
So distracting.

3) None of the characters are likeable. Not even the kids. You don't really care all that much if anyone gets away from the psychos.

I get the feeling that Nasaw wants to write like Thomas Harris, but he just doesn't quiiiiiite get it right. Too much sex, too many wordy speeches from characters (no one actually talks the way that they do in this book), and not enough action make for a pretty unlikeable book.