Wherein I Read 4 Chapters of a Book and Find It Not to My Liking

Had an impulse book grab at the Plainsboro library yesterday as we were checking out with a movie. We went there so that Luke could get his own library card, even though he has one for Princeton--at least he and Dan can now go get movies if they want them over the summer. The movies there are free, as long as you return them within four days (aside, we got Spiderman 3. If you haven't seen it, don't bother. Tobey Macguire, whom I usually like,  couldn't be less palatable of convincing as a superhero, and there are like fifteen subplots, now of which make much sense and then movie is also about fifteen hours long).

Anyway, I grabbed this book after just a cursory glance, catching the phrase, "as good as Alfred Hitchcock," but later, after reading the actual plot synopsis on the book flap and the first few chapters, I decided that it wasn't for me.

The plot involved a judge who dies on New Years Eve in his office, and his two legal assistants who decide not to tell anyone, because of some weird rule that if a judge dies, his employees must get paid for the remainder of what's left for the year (is that for real?). But of course, if he dies on Jan. 31, that only means four more hours for the assistants before they're hanging in the wind. I can see how the writer probably thought this was a brilliant concept on which to base a story, but maybe it's because I am not into courtroom-type dramas (having overdosed on John Grisham in high school), or maybe it's because the plot seemed too contrived, but I decided to go ahead and skip to the end to see how it worked out (the bad guy was killed, and the other assistant fell in love with a clerk and was rescued). Then I thought about how the writer might feel, knowing that his book, this thing he probably worked on for at least a few months, was picked up and discarded in less than twenty minutes. And then I imagined the writer shrugging and going, "Hey, if she doesn't like it, that's fine. There are plenty of people who do like it, like my agent and the publishing company." But you can't guilt me into reading a dumb book. There are too many good ones out there to waste time on one that makes you roll your eyes.

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