Darcia Helle's Reviews > Pulse

Pulse by John Lutz
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Jul 07, 12

bookshelves: arcs-vine-reviews, fiction, suspense-thriller-mystery
Read from July 03 to 06, 2012

I've been a fan of John Lutz for many years. This book, however, was not his best work and, for me, was a disappointment.

I'll start with the positives. The plot is multi-layered and intricate. The mystery kept me guessing until the end, and there were a few unexpected twists.

Now the negatives: The pace is slow. There are a lot of viewpoint characters, and, as a result of the overload, we don't really get to know any of them very well. We keep jumping back in time to 1986, where we follow a 14-year-old character we assume grew up to be the killer, though we don't really know. This jump back and forth, together with the excess of characters, can be difficult to follow.

The one thing that totally ruined the book for me came in the final 30 pages. I don't typically give spoilers, and I'll do my best not to here. But this was a vital issue for me. Back in 1986, two average 14-year-old teens in a small town did not send encrypted emails. Telling me that finding this information broke the case was so absurd that I read the passage three times to make sure I understood it correctly. To get to the end of all the intricately woven storylines, and find the answer came together because of a detail so absolutely out of place, left me grimacing and feeling like I'd wasted my time.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Dindy Thank you. I could not believe my eyes when I read that about the encrypted emails from 1986.


Darcia Helle Wasn't that absurd? I literally had to go back and re-read it multiple times, because I was sure I was misunderstanding. It's bad enough that Lutz wrote that, but how did it also get by his editor?

Looking back, I think I was overly generous in my star rating, simply because I've been a longtime fan of his writing. This book really was a mess.


Dindy I gave it 2, largely because I did keep reading it, but only because I kept hoping Lutz would pull it all together in a way that made sense. Alas.


Darcia Helle Your star rating was closer to the reality. There were some 3-star moments in this book, but there were also a lot of 1-star moments. I hope the next one is better, though I'm not sure I even want to read it.


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