Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jeffery Deaver: The Broken Window

I haven't, according to the blog, read a novel by Jeffery Deaver since 2006. (I have also misspelled the label - "Jeffrey" -  so I may try to fix that now). I had a bit of a phase then and was quite taken with him. Now, the saying is that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in the case of revisiting formely pet writers this is not necessarily true. Reading The Broken Window I was more annoyed than I remember being before at how repetitive Deaver is when he fills the new readers in how background info, like that Rhymes is paralysed. And that he peppers the text with cliffhangers. It also felt obvious when he led us to red herring assumptions into who the killer really was - so obvious that I realised it must be someone else that we'd never thought of.

Nevertheless Deaver is a very skilled thriller writer who puts together an entertaining read. When I spotted this brand new paperback at the library (I was the first reader! The spine will never be the same) I was happy to pick it up. The theme of this book is that we, in our new computerized society, sprinkle small bits of information about ourselves all over the place, and that the people who can access all this information have, potentially, enormous power. In this case a serial killer uses the information to stalk victims and frame innocents as their murderers. He knows his victim's interests and can disarm them by liking the same things, he knows what brands the would-be murderer favours and can plant evidence at their house. I have to confess that I am ignorant and am  not sure if there really is a private company that collects ALL such information about us so they potentially can sell a complete dossier on us to anyone, but sure, there might be. It's a sobering thought. Although I can't help feeling a little incredulous about it, since my first reaction is "why would anyone bother?". Except perhaps (a plot in the plot) the government looking for terrorist affiliations. But on the whole I'm not into conspiracy theories - well, I mean I'd read about them as fiction, but I don't believe them to be true.

Perfect book to read when travelling. Just long and engrossing enough, but not too complex.

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