6. Rhymes With Prey [Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport] by Jeffrey Deaver vs. John Sandford
This one I also liked from the start, especially being back to detectives working together to solve crimes. Had some fun of ‘thinks like me’ with the way they were considering even unlikely possibilities before deciding which approaches to focus on. That was enjoyable - it seems like actual detective stories are surprisingly rare among crime fiction, or maybe this is more a matter of how it goes in the short form (admittedly these are technically more thrillers than anything else).
I didn’t like the way it felt like BDSM was portrayed as inherently unpleasant, unhealthy thing to engage in. If there must be a villainous BDSM-interested character (not convinced of this), why can’t this be investigated by characters who are non-disgusted or even kinky themselves? Would help to draw a distinction between what people do and abusive or murderous corruptions of that. Reading this, that got to me a bit. I’m increasingly fed up with this sort of portrayal in fiction.
I was also put off by the later twists and turns in plot development, which seemed to come out of nowhere or to be drawing a very long bow of coincidence and connection. That was also a bit disappointing because it felt like the story just kept going on past when it should have ended, but also as if things were happening to fast (maybe I was in a rush because lunch break?). I also was put off by some tendency to the male to discuss their attraction to their female assistants. It felt very ‘pending romance’, and it felt very male-gazey in terms of appearance and relation focus.
Despite all this, I liked it enough to continue to plan to read Deaver’s novels, and to potentially look into Sandford’s too. I do worry this is some kind of betrayal of principles to continuing reading work by authors when I found this piece objectionable in so many ways that seem like they should be important. But I suppose I can read whatever I want. Assuming I continue to want to.