October 03

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

I always knew it but this book confirmed it. I’ve missed my calling as a top-notch detective because I figured out this who-done-it the moment the culprit appeared. I stuck with it just to cement my suspicions and if I’m completely honest, because I didn’t have a new book to turn to.

This thriller might be a total winner for non-super-sleuths but somehow, sadly, I think it’s more fizzle than sizzle. It always pains me to write this sort of review and if you’ve read it and loved it, well drop me a line friend. I’m always happy to be wrong about a book – because I’m always right about a criminal.

If you watched The Undoing you’ll know this author. To be fair, I didn’t mind The Undoing but that was because it is supremely cleverer than The Plot.

So what is it about? I’ll make it snappy.

Jake is a despondent author (with one best seller under his belt) trying to make ends meet and keep the dream alive by teaching short writing courses at a declining community college. It’s boring and he basically goes through the motions waiting for inspiration and a plot for his next novel to come to him. Well, it walks in one day courtesy of an arrogant student who spills the details of the book he’s writing. Jake knows immediately it is literary gold.

Fast forward a few years, Jake discovers the student has died without finishing his super-nova novel and so does what he convinces himself anyone else would….he steals the plot, writes a book ‘Crib’ which makes a motza and holds court as the New York Times #1 for months. Nice.

Jake is the toast of the book-loving town and all is going swimmingly until a mysterious message arrives into Jake’s inbox … ‘you are a thief‘.

Being discovered has tormented Jake since he started typing out the first line of the novel ‘Crib’ (it did not stop him typing more though) and he spirals, desperate to discover his tormentor who continues to send more and more ominous, threatening messages. His publisher and the lawyers get involved and it all goes to hell in a proverbial hand basket. And then, as he must, he comes face to face with the person who the mystery plot is actually about. It was taken from a real life horror story and that person is not one bit happy.

Who dun it and why is now yours to discover if you decide to tackle this book. It’s not bad, just meh.

But I’m looking on the bright side and am sizing up some new career options in the private investigator world so all is not lost. Special rates will apply for Readhead cases obviously.

But that is just my two cents worth.