Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I’ve been reading excessive amounts of brain candy lately, but I have an excuse: I’ve been attempting (though not-exactly successfully) to use my brain for other endeavors. I am now committed to deeper reading, so this is officially my last brain-candy entry (for the time being).

Catherine Coulter’s TailSpin brings back Special Agents Savich and Sherlock, regulars in Coutler’s FBI Thriller series. This time, they are investigating two crimes. Dr. MacLean is a well-known psychiatrist; Rachael Abbott is a former senator’s lovechild. Both are being targeted by assassins, though apparently not the same ones.

I’ve enjoyed Coulter’s series in the past, and I love an occasional brainless read. This time, though, I was not wrapped up in the story. Instead, I was constantly irritated by little details. For example, the book takes place in the D.C. area, yet the characters constantly eat Mexican food. Has Coulter, who lives in California, ever eaten Mexican food on the East Coast?

More importantly, I was turned off by the main characters’ apparent lack of humanity. When the senator discovers Rachael is his lovechild, he is thrilled, calls her the “daughter of his heart.” Yet, he has two other daughters he raised. No one questions his instant adoration for Rachael or wonders how his other children might feel.

Similarly, the senator has a dark secret, a crime he committed. All the characters want the secret to remain, well, a secret. They don’t want to tarnish the senator’s reputation. But no one ever thinks about the people he harmed. Wouldn’t they want the closure of knowing who committed the crime?

Okay, enough complaining. The real problem with this thriller is that it is less than thrilling. Coulter misses out on opportunities to create fear and tension. I never really believed anyone is in danger, and I wouldn’t really mind if they were.

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