The best Kindle Mystery (yes, and suspense) reviews are here in one place. It’s not that the two genres are the same, but they are similar enough that readers tend to stray into both fields at will. Stephen King uses great plots for his books, and while most are not considered to be part of the mystery field, it’s the strong characters and early presentation of them (both the protagonist and the culprit) that keep us turning pages.
Interestingly, King also likes to dabble in backstory, since each character carries their own burden and we glean important facts from their past, but he doesn’t bog us down with too much. I’m not a fan of flashbacks or moving from the past to the present and back again, but I can handle a dash of it from time to time.
Readers also want to believe that the mystery or crime is believable, and the character or culprits are truly capable of committing their heinous deeds. If not, what’s the point? Lee Child uses a mix of outrageous physical acts by his main character, Jack Reacher (well, he is like 6’4 and 260), to provide a juxtaposition with the bad guys, but he also presents Reacher as a thinker, who works like Sherlock Holmes. They both sift through an endless morass of simple facts to find a complicated solution to the crime.
The best part of the novel is when we suddenly realize that the answers were all presented to us and we might have even figured out the motivation or reason for the crime chapters earlier. That’s the best. So what’s the worst?
The worst is when the author tries to fool us by using totally improbable traits, abilities or motivation (by any character) to tie the culprit to the crime. Please. Let us play with reasonable expectations of winning, not whining.