Michael Palmer is just a guy with a regular job who fancies himself a writer. you know...like me But its hard to argue with him; he's written a bunch of books, and is rather popular, I understand. unlike me My biggest problem: people just don't talk like that... or act like that. Do they?
So, like any good story, we've got conflict. The good guys vs. the bad guys. The bad guys are personified by the baddest of the bad, his boss, and a few hangers on; lets call them minions. One of these minions is a career G-man who makes his way in the world by denying benefits to those who need them, and is generally an all-around hater. On a clandestine trip to the zoo for some cloak and dagger rendezvous with his boss, our minion sees a kid with his mom, who have absolutely nothing to do with the scene. Have a looksee:
"Hi Gorilla!" the boy called out. "Can you say hello?"
The boy's mother, a modestly dressed, somewhat frumpy woman in her late thirties, knelt down beside the youth to encourage his exuberance. MacCandliss cringed.
"It's not a parrot," he said to the child. "It's an ape, and apes don't talk."
[At this point the kid turns around to check out our minion and loses his hold on his balloon. Our hater is quite satisfied, and when the mother scolds him for not being 'very nice' our guy replies like so:]
"But it was nevertheless, madam, the truth," he said, handing her a ten. "Good day."
Sooo... am I right? "Good day"? Are you kidding me? Nobody does that. And for the record, this unnecessary little sidebar does not show me, the reader, what a bad dude this guy is. In two sentences he goes from evil bastard to pathetic idiot.
And while I'm ranting, what is it about lawyers (Palmer is a doctor) and writing? It seems to me that a bunch of the crime novels I've read are written by guys who worked as lawyers and now are cranking out crime novels. Is it the access to crime? Is it the money and/or good education (which may also explain Dr. Palmer)? How many bios have I read that start out: "So-and-so is a practicing lawyer, has two-and-a half kids..."
Anytho... I had piss and moan about something, right? But as I said earlier, this was generally a good book. you remember I said that right? I can wait if you want to back and look. The story WAS good, and I burned through this book in no-time. So maybe I wouldn't rush out and buy everything this guy ever wrote; but I would pick up another book-sale paperback, and throw my buck in the jar, no sweat.