Friday, August 27, 2004

Medical thrillers!

Detoured from work to read two books loaned to me by my friend and colleague Michael M., Tess Gerritsen's Body Double and The Sinner. Both quite good. I do find myself wanting more interesting prose than you see here. But the identical twin plot in Body Double is sort of fascinating. I also found myself comparing these books to two books by Karin Slaughter that I also recently read (lent me by the same friend): A Faint Cold Fear and Indelible. I liked them both (much better than Kisscut, which I read at the beginning of the summer & made me feel that Slaughter was really overrated). Slaughter is more interesting to me than Gerritsen: there's a writing thing going on here that just isn't with Gerritsen, who is a very good storyteller but doesn't have a particular talent for character or place. Slaughter's more interesting, despite the inevitable Patricia Cornwell/Kathy Reichs comparisons. (I still like Cornwell much, more more than Reichs; the first-person voice in Cornwell's books is raw and painful & on the whole much more interresting than the other.) In sum: will read more books by Gerritsen and Reichs, who are similarly interesting and competent writers about female pathologists; Cornwell's gone off the deep end, but of course I'll still read hers; but Slaughter, despite my reservations (and partly it's just that I like the character of Lena so much more than Sara!), I will look out for actively and read new books ASAP.


  1. I think Karin's really progressed as a writer with each book--I've always liked her writing but found that she never quite lived up, plot-wise, to her potential somehow--but INDELIBLE was very, very good. I've long said that I'd like to see her try a standalone, because the short stories that I've read were excellent and more character driven and I think it would be wise for her to concentrate more on that than plot, which is why I think INDELIBLE's the best of her books--it really does focus on the main characters (Sara and Jeffrey this time around) more than the trappings of the story.

    I haven't read Gerritsen's books but from what I hear, she's more of a pure thriller writer than someone who can really go somewhere as a writer. Wouldn't surprise me if Slaughter, in about 10-15 years, is in a complete different place, and not so genre-bound, than she started out. I think it's already starting to happen.

  2. I completely agree with you, Sarah, and I will look out with great interest for Slaughter's books to come. Something about her writing really reminds me of the British novelist Stephen Booth's books--high-quality language and good sense of place, interesting characters, etc.