Kem Nunn wrote a pretty decent unconventional detective story here. Set in the ever mystical backdrop of Huntington Beach California, a troubled young...moreKem Nunn wrote a pretty decent unconventional detective story here. Set in the ever mystical backdrop of Huntington Beach California, a troubled young man from the desert leaves his home and goes seeking answers after being told that his runaway sister had probably been murdered. What drew me to this novel was that it served as the "inspiration" for one of my favorite junk action movies from the 1990's "Point Break" Inspiration is by far the most appropriate term to use. This isn't a story about ex-presidents,FBI, bank robbery or even sky-diving for that matter. And thats ok with me because the story that Kem Nunn wrote is a very good story. So we as the consumer have actually been given two different and yet equally redeeming pieces of entertainment. The common themes are infiltration, surfing and not really a whole lot else. After reading this novel you will be able to recognise very subtle homages to the novel in the movie. Someday hollywood may give us a movie called "Tapping the Source" which rings true to this story. And I would welcome the development of such a project. In conclusion, if your looking for a nearly literary murder mystery with exotic description, I would definitely recommend tapping the source.(less)
This is the third novel in the Alex Delaware series, and the fourth which I have read. I had previously read books 1,5, and 2 in that order.
"When the...moreThis is the third novel in the Alex Delaware series, and the fourth which I have read. I had previously read books 1,5, and 2 in that order.
"When the bough breaks" may very well be the best mystery I have ever read. It's fast paced, the charachters are interesting and they feel real. Kellerman describes a beautifully fascinating California life for some of us who have never been there. And the twists and turns were as sickening and perverted as they were unexpected.
The immediate follow up "Blood Test" is not quite as good, but is still an excellent companion for those who enjoyed "When the bough..."
Like Tom Clancy or JK Rowling, as Kellerman continued his series he felt entitiled to make his stories longer and perhaps needlessly more complicated. "Over the edge" the third in the Delaware series as well as "Timebomb" are both overlong and boring. The charachters are not as interesting as the ones in the first two books and the prequisite of psychology neccessary to understand these two novels goes above a 16 grade education.
Its sad because in this novel at least, Kellerman did have some nice twists in the end, its just unfortunate the path to get there was so long complicated and boring that I'm sure many gave up.
My recommendation is too read the first two Delaware novels, read this one only if you are obsessed and also hold a doctorate (I don't btw)(less)
Imagine if John Grisham's "A time to kill" was merged with Thomas Harris's "Silence of the Lambs" Not a perfect analogy but that basically sums up the...moreImagine if John Grisham's "A time to kill" was merged with Thomas Harris's "Silence of the Lambs" Not a perfect analogy but that basically sums up the hybrid fusion of this novels general plot theme. The charachters in this novel are excellent, and the story is top rate. This was the best novel that I can remember reading in some time. This book has two sequels to it "A Show of evil" and "Reign in Hell" in that order. I had previously read Reign in Hell, and was impressed enough with it to turn back and read this novel. This novel is better by the way... But Reign in Hell isn't bad either. More recently I have read Show of Evil, and that is a decent novel, although sub-par when compared directly against this one.(less)
As a Pennsylvania resident and King fan, I had hoped that this novel would share some common threads with "Christine" (which I had read this past Janu...moreAs a Pennsylvania resident and King fan, I had hoped that this novel would share some common threads with "Christine" (which I had read this past January) another sub-par Stephen King novel about a late 1950's car which also happened to take place in Western Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, if there are any connections, I missed them. This book is "ok" and significantly different in it's actions than Christine. To the inexperienced King reader, My best advice is read the superior novels which he published pre-1987, but avoid Christine and Cujo all the same.(less)
I've read four novels by Robert Harris. The first one he ever published "Fatherland" is a intriguing mystery with a hit you over the head twist. The o...moreI've read four novels by Robert Harris. The first one he ever published "Fatherland" is a intriguing mystery with a hit you over the head twist. The only catch is that you have to keep an open mind to the term "fictional reality.
Harris's fourth fictional title "Pompeii" is probably a better novel than Fatherland. The two he published in between those novels (Enigma and Archangel) both kind of miss the mark. Enigma is for lack of a better term "boring" although the twist at the end is rather interesting. This novel "Archangel" is better paced then Enigma and is a great source for everything you wanted to know about Josef Stalin, but it also borders on "silly" and falls far short of Fatherland and Pompei. Because of the high remarks which I give to Pompei, I still look forward to reading Harris's other Roman themed story "Imperium"
Some commentators say this is Ludlum's finest novel. There is only one thing I know for sure, I sure as hell am not reading every novel he wrote to fi...moreSome commentators say this is Ludlum's finest novel. There is only one thing I know for sure, I sure as hell am not reading every novel he wrote to find out if those commentators are right. Ludlum was not a novelist entirely without merit. But his writing style had flaws in it and those flaws were so severe that most less determined readers would choose never to finish even one of his novels. I seriously question my own mental health making the conscious decision to complete five of them.
Ludlum's strengths were that he sometimes could develop an interesting character. (But sometimes he basically just threw a name on a stick figure and we were supposed to be interested in that shadow.)
He could sometimes write a good action sequence, (but sometimes he would overdue this, either in the complexity of how a character got from lowly figure "A" to intended desired target "J" (Usually with target J, zipping off into the sunset leaving the protagonist behind to belve into a way to travel to a new foreign shore where the protagonist can go through the same trials and tribulations again in an attempt to capture target "J"
Once I remember him writing a good erotic sex sequence...
And the most satisfying strength that his writing style usually possessed, was the usual mystery format, where the protagonist must back track to figure out what had been happening that led to the conspiracy that the protagonist never asked to be a part of but ultimately has become the most essential player. If the conspiracy was interpretable by the average reader, it was usually clever and satisfying.
The conspiracy of the Bourne Identity novel is probably one of the most interesting and satisfying of Ludlum's collection. Jason Bourne has awoken on a boat with only vague memories of being in a struggle on a different boat where he was shot in the head and ended up in the water. He doesn't remember who he is, who he was, or why he knows how to fight very well and also handle complex weapons. But the most bizarre thing about his existence is his apparent access to a swiss bank account. This is one of the most interesting pandora's boxes i can remember coming across in all the mysteries I have read.
Who wouldn't want to access millions of dollars after finding out that they have access to the money? When Jason takes the money out of the swiss bank, now he has really screwed himself. The people who gave him the money now feel the need to terminate him, and the person who had been seeking to terminate him even before he had been shot in the head on a boat also is in full hot pursuit of the man who doesn't know where he fits in all of this.
Bourne must evade assassination all over Western Europe at the hands of a distrusting government and a terrorist whom we have identified as Illich Ramirez Sanchez. The movie with Matt Damon is nice, but it's a great over simplification of the story with a final conspiracy that is terribly dumbed down from the clever explanation that Robert Ludlum finally unveils as to what was "The Bourne Identity" and for what purpose was it created.
At this point I feel it is important to mention that the Paul Greengrass films "Bourne Supremacy" and "Bourne Ultimatum" provide basically Zero similarity in any form to the novels which donate their names to those films. The movies are entertaining though, and their is one character in the Bourne Ultimatum movie who also makes a relevant appearance in the Ultimatum novel.
The 2002 movie basically represents about 30% of the material in this novel, combined with changes or omissions to the remainder of this story. What the "Supremacy" and particularly "Ultimatum" movies do provide is basically another 20% of the content of this novel, finally displayed on film in the ration of about 3% in the supremacy movie and another 17% in the Ultimatum movie.
If one were really interested in seeing the contents of the original novel acted out on film. There is an outlet for that... check Amazon.com for availability of a dvd version of the 1988 CBS mini-series "The Bourne Identity" starring Richard Chamberlin. That is this novel to a T, and it is reasonably interesting if you are a fan of the content of this book.(less)