Top critical review
Patterson resorts to dumbing down scientists to explain obvious things
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 21, 2021
Here's what drives me nuts about Patterson. I myself am a scientist, and when he writes about scientists, he uses those characters to ask moronic questions, just as a literary device to explain things that no self respecting scientist would ever have to ask.
It's infuriating. What ever happened to the concept of respecting the reader?
Stephen King NEVER insults the intelligence of the reader nor his highly educated characters.
Example from this book:
Highly trained scientist with both an MD and a PhD: "What's the USGS?"
Army guy, "The United States Geological Survey".
Is this some kind of a joke? I've never met a scientist who doesn't know what the USGS is. Good grief! How stupid does he think scientists are? Does he even know any real scientists?
Over and over again in this book, he makes the elite team of scientists play the role of morons.
Maybe he thinks that's believable because he has more respect for a 20 year old military grunt than he does for the highly educated, but it doesn't pass muster.
The USGS is a major employer of scientists, and scientists use information from the USGS ALL THE TIME.
We also know what the DIA is, etc. These organizations employ hundreds of thousands of scientists, and we all know about them and contribute to research that they end up using.
This kind of egregious mistake from an author who should know better by now breaks the flow of reading because now I'm out of the story, seeing the author's strained attempt to explain to his readers what certain terms mean. That's also insulting to the reader.
People who read a lot know these things.
Put a list of acronyms at the beginning of the book if you're that sure your readers are that stupid and that they don't have a phone where they can look a term up on Google.
Then tell the story. Stop frustrating the reader with condescending and unbelievable devices like a major scientist not knowing what the USGS, FLIR, and other very common agencies and technologies are.
There are other inconsistencies in the flow of the book, but it is an entertaining and interesting story.
Some story lines just disappear with no explanation. For example, the 2 protagonists have a dog who is described throughout the action and setup of the story. Then, with no explanation, no dog. For the rest of the book there is no mention of the beloved and faithful dog. Did I miss something? Did it die? Where did it go? Did I doze off?
Again, a good editor would catch that.
Stephen King has said that one of his fears is that, because of his success, his publisher might not edit his books as carefully, so he insists that they do.
Patterson should do the same!
Maybe he has gotten lazy and doesn't want to bother with excellent writing. Maybe he sits around jotting down plot outlines and has lesser writers pen "his" books. I've heard that, but don't know if it's true. If it is, maybe he should bring in teachers to teach "his" writers that respecting the reader goes a long way toward writing a quality book.
Maybe he doesn't care. He's got a money making book factory, so why would he care about literary matters?