Why I stopped reading this book on page 71:
Reason 1. You didn’t have me at Hello.
I often skip over the acknowledgements when they’re at the beginning of the book.
I almost always read them when they’re at the back.
Especially when I like the book.
A little dessert to help you digest what you’ve just read.
This time they were right up front.
The last line caught my eye:
“And thanks beyond words to my wife Ellen Treacy, whose worth is far above rubies.”
At first, I thought this was a nice gesture of gratitude.
Then I started thinking about it.
Is Ellen satisfied that her worth has surpassed that of rubies?
Is she worried at all about where she fits in with the other gemstones?
What is she actually worth?
Would she have gotten an acknowledgement if she was worth less?
Does Andrew really love her as a person?
Surprisingly, these thoughts continued to trouble me as I continued on in my reading.
Reason 2. Get Real.
First some background on the plot:
Our purported hero, Dan Champion, is a former NYPD undercover cop.
He broke the big Emory case, but wound up killing Emory.
In cold blood. Skipped that whole Miranda business.
He doesn’t remember doing this.
He doesn’t remember a lot of things.
He’s kind of a mess.
A few years go by.
He gets it together – to some extent.
Now he’s a small town detective.
But will his troubled past catch up with him?
I don’t know – I didn’t get to that part.
As an NYPD undercover vice cop, this guy is so creeped out by the existence of a child prostitution ring that he can’t sleep. I don’t want to overgeneralize, but the New York City cops that I’ve run into don’t seem like the kinda guys that would lose too much sleep over underage hookers. But this guy? He has to self-medicate. HEAVILY. A couple
glasses of scotch and a sleeping pill? Nope. A little weed? Nope. Booze, weed, Xanax? Nope. He needs a highly dangerous, extremely powerful, illicit street drug to get a little sleep. Nothing else will work! Nothing. This drug leaves him nearly incapacitated during his waking hours.
I’m pretty good at suspending disbelief, but my limits were severely tested here.
Strike 3. He’s in love with his own hallucination?
“I thought of Samantha as I lay in the dark with Bethany soft beside me. Bethany’s cheek against my chest. Bethany’s hair against my cheek, Bethany’s skin against my hand. I thought of Samantha. More than three years had gone by since the Emory case. You would think that was time enough to get over a drug-induced hallucination. You would think so.
But I never really had.”
Yes – I would think so. Three years? Maybe three hours. Three or four days, tops.
This guy falls in love with his own subconscious image of the perfect woman and now he can’t get over her. He knows for certain that he can never commit to any other lover?
C’mon, man. Bethany is hot! Bethany is worthy of your love.
Maybe she’s not up there in ruby territory, but she’s got it goin’ on.
But our hero is gonna stick with dream-girl.
I hope they’re both very happy.
I’m moving on.
And not to page 72.