Regan's Reviews > Touchstone

Touchstone by Laurie R. King
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's review
Mar 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, mysteries-suspense
Read in March, 2012

I absolutely love the characters in Touchstone, but I didn't find the story as compelling as some of King's other works.

Bennett Gray, the "touchstone" of the title, is meant to be a main character and is surprisingly sidelined in the action. He's there, tagging along at a number of points, but not really part of the action if that makes sense. This is a disappointment as he's more interesting than some of the others, but it also makes for a bit of awkwardness as you wonder just what the point of him is at times. His unusual skill in heightened awareness or rapid cognition aren't really used in the "detection" of the mystery, but rather as a secondary plot.

Lead detector, Harry Stuyvesant, is also complex and likable, plus there's a good, if somewhat obvious, villain.

The weak point here is the plot. Unfortunately, the end doesn't really surprise. This is in part because the lead suspect is a) announced as such from the start, and b) gets very little screen time, so we know it isn't him. And there are very few other options as to who it might be. The main plot detours from it's original focus, and the secondary plot doesn't tie in well, so it's a bit of a jumble in places.

In the end, you want to know more about the characters, want to know what happens to them next and really want a better book for them – all of which is happening as King says "The book I'll be writing this year [2012] is set in Paris, 1929, and is about some of the characters from Touchstone."

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