Monday, September 15, 2003

Book Talk

I was planning on writing an entry today about the book I'm currently reading (see links toolbar if you can find it) and how the editing is so awful and I keep finding all of these grammar mistakes - very obvious ones. Then, I read Jennifer Weiner's Sept. 14th entry and had to laugh in agreement with the remarks about "poorly edited books." I love reading mysteries and thrillers, and yes, most often, I can figure out who the murderer or the bad guy is before I reach the end. Some are good, some are bad, but I love the genre regardless. And I'm one of those people who mostly likes everything I read. A book, or even a movie for that matter, has to be pretty bad for me to give up on it before the end.

With the book I'm reading now, The Darkness Gathers by Lisa Miscione, the grammar mistakes are so glaring that it's distracting. And it's very obvious that whoever edited this book at St. Martin's Minotaur did a very crappy job. Relying too much on SpellCheck? Here are the examples, all revolving around the same word. Remember, these are not my typos, this is how they are printed in the book:

On p. 76, "His face darkened a bit. 'Like I said, I've been warned to step off. I have to follow the rules here or I'll loose my career. I'm not a free agent like the two of you. I loose my job and my kid doesn't go to college, my wife doesn't get medication for her diabetes. Do you understand that?'"

And again, on p. 202, "Now that you are with me, I couldn't bare to loose you again."

Ugh, is this crazy or what? Twice in the same paragraph, then the same exact error again 200 pages later! The word 'loose' was actually used correctly in some places, but it was distracting because I felt like I had to re-read the sentence to make sure.

This is the second book in the series featuring Lydia Strong and Jeffrey Mark. I love reading serials because of how the format allows for strong character development and the reader gets to know and love characters over the years as they age and experience different things. I thought the first book in the series, Angel Fire, was okay but not great, and decided to give the second one a shot. Aside from glaring typos, the problem I have with this series is how the main characters get involved in the cases they are working on. Lydia is a true crime writer whose boyfriend is a former FBI guy owns a high-end private detective/intelligence agency. In both books, they have approached the local law enforcement working on the case to offer to help and their assistance has been gladly accepted.

From the many other mysteries, legal thrillers, police procedurals and the like that I have read, this is wholly unbelievable. In most cases, local law enforcement hates the interference of anyone else, whether it's a state agency or the federal government coming to take over the case. I realize this is just a small detail to the overall story being told, and that there has to be some element of unbelieveability in mysteries, but again, it's very distracting to me the reader because it's always in the back of my head.

Some day soon, I'm going to add a page about all the different book series I read, along with some thoughts, but I think I'll just stop after book 2 in the Lydia Strong series and leave it at that. There are many other books on my "to read" list than to waste my time with poorly edited, unfocused mystery books.

Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment.