Tuesday, July 1, 2008


In case I was in any danger of becoming a book snob, or drowning in books like The House of Widows, I read Iris Johansen’s Quicksand this weekend. Johansen’s bestselling thrillers are the epitome of popular fiction. They have little substance or intrinsic value, but they sure are entertaining.

Quicksand focuses on Johansen’s favorite heroine, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan. Since the kidnapping and presumed murder of her young daughter years before, Eve has been obsessed with finding Bonnie’s body. In previous books, Eve and her boyfriend, Joe, have followed fruitless leads.

This time, though, it appears they may have found Bonnie’s killer. Kistle is a serial killer of children who seems equally obsessed with Bonnie. Eve tries to find Kistle so she can learn the whereabouts of her daughter’s body. Kistle tries to find Eve so he can kill her.

Sometimes, I question my own morals and sanity at finding enjoyment and entertainment in reading about serial killers, especially killers of children, but I guess that is part of the magic of books: we can experience heinous parts of life without actually experiencing them.

The book continually refers to the last two novels in the series. I confess that I have only a vague recollection of what happened in them—although I’ve read them both. Clearly, the books are so light that nothing remains with me after I finish them. And sometimes, something so easily digestible is exactly what I need.

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