I’m reading a book at the moment, by a popular author who sells millions of copies of every book; I guess it’s a sort of mystery, but it might be something else, there are hints of espionage and business dealings and dodgy doings, but the start is where a young woman goes missing on a Greek island, and a middle-aged man who was with her at the time is suspected of having done her some harm… but of course we know he hasn’t because he’s the main character in the book (unless it’s the sort of mystery that Agatha Christie wrote with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ where the main character and narrator is finally shown to be the murderer)
All sorts of different sub-plots are beginning to emerge, the missing girl’s sister was murdered by terrorists, her family has a complicated relationship with the middle-aged suspect, a dashing MP keeps appearing as if from nowhere… and so it’s going on…
It all sounds quite promising, except I don’t feel involved, I don’t have any particular interest in the characters, I haven’t engaged with the main middle-aged character, I’m not particularly interested in his past or the family of the girl… and I feel as if I’m plodding on. It’s a thick book and I keep thinking how much more I have to wade through before I get to the end… wade through… A reader shouldn’t be ‘wading through’, a reader should be galloping through, a reader should care about the characters, worry about the missing girl, be anxious about the poor suspect, be intrigued by the mysterious MP and wonder how the sister’s death ties in… Well, unfortunately this reader doesn’t. I feel a little guilty that the writer has put this book before me, and I actually am struggling to pick it up and continue reading it.
The story that I am writing at the moment also has a lot of different strands, a Buddhist lama who seems to have an unhealthy control over his followers, a woman estranged from her family and in a dangerous marriage, some lilies which appear on the grave of a Danish airman who died in the war, a family’s money worries, a secret revealed and the disastrous effects it has on those involved… I just hope my readers are sufficiently hooked to want to follow my characters to the end when the mysteries are unravelled and all is explained in a realistic and satisfactory way. I really care about my characters, and want my readers to do so too.
Here is a link to my books: