Good. Evil. Bratwurst.

Are You Kidding Me?

Posted on by arlen

I was told I had to pick up a copy of Mary Higgins Clark’s My Gal Sunday, by people who insisted it was the best husband/wife team since Nick and Nora Charles.

Not even close. Had I the time and space I’d list the beter ones, but I’ll content myself with simply observing I’ve never read worse, at least that I can recall (and since this one was so spectacularly bad, I doubt I’d forget coming across a worse one).

The characters were completely unbelieveable, the “mysteries” (I use the term loosely) were simple enough, even considering the author couldn’t be bothered with leaving anything like clues (the stories are attempts to write suspense, rather than puzzles, you see). At least that’s what I’m assuming, because I don’t know how else to describe it. For example, when the Culprit in one story is first introduced the author goes to great lengths to point out the person has a key (stopping only just short of having the wife exclaim “Oh look, dear, they have their own key to the crime scene”). It was almost embarassing, like watching a magician drop the deck of cards he was shuffling.

It was really hard to care about characters when they didn’t even remotely resemble real people, and the task was made even harder when the author tossed in other impossibilities (husband is an ex-president — handsome, wealthy and popular beyond your wildest dreams, of course — while wife is a sitting Congresswoman, yet we’re expected to believe the Secret Service would just take some time off and not be around for hours?) that a T. Rex would have trouble swallowing.

If this is a fair sample of her work, I confess I’m mystified by her apparent popularity. I kept hoping to run across a story I could read without cringing, but it didn’t happen. It wasn’t hard to stay at least ten pages ahead of these “sleuths” (cover blurb, certainly not a characterization I’d make of them).

I can’t honestly think of any class of reader who might like this book. It’s not offensive, so if you really don’t have anything at all to do, it’ll help pass the time, but, frankly, recounting the change in your pocket will be more engrossing.

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July 2006
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