Trouble, Gary Schmidt
ok people, this is from memory. It’s been at least a year since I read Trouble, but the structure was so well-built I continue to pull it back into my mind. Maybe because I’m comparing it to another book club selection that I decided was ultimately unsatisfying.
- brings together three plotlines in a perfectly plausible, and yet surprising, way;
- introduces two comic characters to relieve the pressure of the storyline’s primary suspense (but who also figure strongly into plotline);
- reveals its mystery slowly;
- allows the viewpoint character’s own narrowed perspective to hide the culprit until the end.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
- brings three plotlines together but awkwardly
- nothing much will bring a smile to one’s face while reading this
- reveals its primary mystery early, but tries to keep suspense by using other violent mysteries that don’t get satisfactorily resolved (motive, means?);
- one viewpoint character holds secrets that are implausibly withheld.
Admittedly, Trouble too has a weak spot, covered up conveniently by the viewpoint character being smacked over the head and needing to be transported to a hospital. And its coincidences are a tad remote, but I had no trouble suspending disbelief to follow the characters along in their quest.