08 May 2010

Book Banter -- Chasing the Dime

Title: Chasing the Dime
Author: Michael Connelly
Genre: mystery
Length: ~400 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Researcher Henry Pierce gets a new phone number when breaks up with his girlfriend who is tired of his long hours in the lab. As soon as he plugs his phone in, he begins receiving calls for Lilly -- all from men who seem eager to find her. Even as his research into nanotechnology is poised to take off, Henry become obsessed with Lilly, determined to find her. Henry delves into the shady world of Internet escorts and finds himself using every bit of his scientific smarts to avoid getting slapped with a murder rap for a crime he didn't commit.

Banter Points: Word Nerd is still reading through Connelly's backlist in chronological order by publication date. She's really more interested in the Bosch books, but likes reading the one-offs too.

Interestingly, it explained in the back of the book that this story was inspired by events in Connelly's own life -- that he got a new phone number and started receiving calls for a woman, including the woman's mother who was trying to find her. It's an interesting glimpse into a writer's head to see what it is that catches their attention and how a book is crafted around a real event.

Bummer Points: Unfortunately, in this case, fictionalizing this story just didn't work well. All the characters were so flat. Whereas the Bosch and Co. characters have great backstories and rough edges and grow over time, Henry and his friends were boring. The premise of the plot was so good, it was sort of wasted on one-off characters.

Word Nerd Recommendation: Unles you are a die-hard Connelly fan, this one is worth skipping in favor of sticking with the Bosch storyline.

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