A few weeks ago, I thought of posting my thoughts on Robert Crais's THE FORGOTTEN MAN today, since it's the book's publication day. But because David Montgomery's review for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel pretty much sums up my own reaction, I'll let him take the floor instead:
All of the elements are present to make another thrilling Crais mystery. Unfortunately, what is missing this time around is the spark, the soul, the special something that turns an ordinary book into an excellent one.
This is a workmanlike novel, and fans will probably still enjoy it - but it falls short of the level of excellence that Crais has demonstrated.
It's frustrating when a newer work by an author you've been a fan of for so long -- and with Crais, he was one of the first writers I got into when I became a serious crime fiction reader a few years ago -- just doesn't measure up, whether to the standard you've set or a so-called absolute one. Which isn't to say I won't eagerly await the next Elvis Cole or even a standalone from him, but it has been tempered to a fair degree.
I think what's bothering me about THE FORGOTTEN MAN is that my reaction almost seems in direct opposition to my belief that authors should be free to grow and change and develop as they see fit, not as readers demand. But growth and change is one thing; disconnect and discontinuity is quite another.
But I'd love to hear different, more positive reactions, if any are forthcoming, in the backblogs. Or more along the lines of what happens when "the thrill is gone" with a particular favorite writer.