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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: "The Search"

Someone asked for "more" on my last BOOK REVIEW post, so here you are--that is, if this person was referring to a book review!  If more scientific information about canines is what you want more of, you'll have to let me know via the comments.

Here is my tongue-in-cheek review of "The Search" by Nora Roberts, 2010, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, ISBN 978-0-399-15657-1.

Recipe for a romantic-suspense novel.

Utensils required:
  • contemporary times
  • plot versus character driven narrative
  • brooding hero
  • uneasy heroine
  • strong and immediate attraction
  • internal conflicts
  • threat
  • action
  • sex
First, combine one brooding hero with one uneasy heroine.  Add strong and immediate attraction.  Blend with internal conflicts.
Next, toss in a threat (which forces interaction).  Whip with action and formula sex scenes.

Bake for a short time.  Novel is done when the hero kills the villain to save the heroine, the two fall in love, and get married to live happily ever after.

Nutritional Analysis:
  • reduced calories
  • romance and suspense balanced

Recipe for romantic-suspense novel.
Nora Roberts' The Search.

Utensils required:
  • isolated setting--Orcas Island off the coast of Seattle, Washinton, current times
  • plot-driven narrative, with dog-training activities as background
  • heroine--Fiona Bristow, a single woman in her late-twenties, a dog-trainer who owns and works three search-and-rescue labs.  She is the lone survivor of a serial-killer and goes to Orcas Island to rebuild her life.
  • brooding hero--Simon Doyle, a solitary, artisan carpenter, is new on the island.  He seeks seclusion, but needs Fiona's help with training his eight-week-old, out-of-control lab puppy.
  • mutual attraction--Fiona is not Simon's "type," but he is attracted to her anyway.  Fiona holds back at first.
  • internal conflicts--Fiona understandably suffers from her frightening past, but Simon's back story is not adequately revealed.
  • threat--Francis X. Eckle is a "copy-cat" killer, trained by the first serial killer to finish Fiona off.  Eckle gets carried away with is own deviations.
  • action--Roberts prose is easy to read, with lots of dialogue.  The plot is framed with search-and-rescue endeavors.
  • sex--Gratuitous and often cliche.
First, combine one heroine (who was the victim of a horrible crime) with one brooding hero (who has a shady past).  Add mutual attraction.  Fold with internal conflicts.

Next, toss in a threat (which the heroine perceives early on).  Stir with action and formula sex scenes.

Bake for a short time.  Novel is done when the heroine, with the help of the hero, resolves the suspense and they live happily ever after.

Nutritional Analysis:
  • extra light calories
  • lacks fiber

Roberts' recipe includes a few slight twists:
  • The heroine, instead of the hero, drives the resolution of the threat, causing the hero to fall in love with her.  Yet, while Roberts' protagonist appears strong and self-reliant, Fiona nevertheless leans on the "bad-boy" hero, Simon (who reveals his dark side at the climax).
  • The villain is not killed.  (I'm not saying anything more.)
  • Fiona and Simon get engaged, not married.

  • Read The Search for fun, not literary depth.
  • Roberts' use of dog-training as back ground is in vogue, but if you are a dog-lover or interested in training techniques, you'll want more.

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