Splicing and Slicing


I am half way through Karin Slaughter’s latest book, ‘Criminal’. Well written? Yes. Plot, Fairisle knitting, in fact, I decided after a row of exhilarating chapters which threw me forward then back 30 years, I would separate the splices.

I am well aware of the method/tool/ devise of splicing and it can be exciting, BUT Slaughter has made it, for me, irritating.

I devour 1970 then hurtle to ‘present day’, wow, I have indigestion, not good at bed time. I will experiment by reading all 1970, then the rest of ‘present day’. She’s too clever by half.
     I ventured into a detailed and visceral description of a tortured, woman. Slaughter’s mind had been there, looking, recording. Too much for me. I stepped out.
    When the plot drags because author research takes centre stage, I read the first line of every paragraph until she’s finished. This has happened two days in a row.
     Yesterday I thought the book too long, I needed closure. And too plot-driven, even though the characters are strong. A successful writer well into her craft, can loose sight. Patricia Cornwell, a very successful crime writer, did. After ten cracking good stories with Kay Scarpetta, lots of character involvement for the reader, she became boring, tried to get herself out of the hole she knew she was in, but didn’t succeed.
     There is a big difference between ‘flashback’ and ‘splicing’. Lackberg makes enormous use of flashback bordering on splicing. ‘Criminal’ makes use of both. It is indeed a mouthful.
     But, like chocolate, it’s moreish, and gobble-inducing writing causes reader indigestion.
     I did a rough word count; 144.000.
     Shall I jump to the last chapter? Here goes. I shall find out whodunit and whether the three protagonists end up fitting together or not.