I haven’t got the head for crime.
Stomach, sure – I’ve been watching CSI over dinner for years. And the heart, certainly: Castle, The Mentalist, Poirot, Sherlock are amongst my firm favourites.
But the brain-juice? Not so much.
I just finished Jeffrey Deaver’s latest Lincoln Rhyme novel “The Burning Wire”. Deaver’s a genius and I’ve loved every single one of this series. But, once again, I couldn’t see the twist coming. Or the second twist. Or the final twist. Or the one after that (and that may not look logical but, trust me, it is truth – the man’s RELENTLESS with the TWISTS).
I NEVER see it coming. I can never get the bad guy. Once or twice, I’ve guessed it. That’s from watching about twelve seasons of CSI: Anyville, the above-mentioned shows, and numerous crime novels. Once. Or twice. Maybe three times tops.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. Congratulations, you might say, the girl gets the fun and horror of surprise from every crime. Huzzah!
Except I want to write a crime novel.
I’ve got my detective and her sidekick. I’ve decided on her city. I know how she gets involved in the work and what she brings to the table. I’ve even tentatively started outlining a villian and his victims.
But if my brain can’t follow someone else’s crimework, how am I ever going to construct my own? And, sure, maybe it’s something you can learn. But until I understand how it works, how the reader picks up the clues and puts the guess together, how can I replicate that experience? Short of simply coping someone else, and that’s beyond cheap.
So I’m re-reading my favourite crime books. I’m rewatching all of Castle (oh, the hardship!). But when I read The Bone Collector for the second time, I managed to fall for the same misdirection as I did last time. I thought I was being clever, remembering the twist – but it turned out that I had been drawn in AGAIN. Fool me once, etc.
Maybe I’m just not cut out for crime. Time to get back to something I actually understand – maybe that Steampunk Assassins script, eh?