Monday, April 21, 2014

Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene: Kill Switch

Baer and Greene are famous or known for being the executive producers of Law & Order: SVU, so you know that they know there way around writing a suspenseful screen play for TV but the question is whether they can transfer it to a novel?

Dr. Claire Waters has just landed her dream job as a psychiatric doctor treating criminals, but with treating criminals the stakes are higher. When Claire recommends the release of her first client an accused serial killer, Claire gets way more than she bargained for. When a new body turns up not 24 hrs after his release Claire realizes how grave of a mistake she has made and now not only is he on the hunt for her, she is now on the hunt for him as well and only one of them is going to get out alive.
To answer the question I posed above, right now my opinion is No, Baer and Greene were not able translate their award winning screen plays to a novel. Maybe with time it could get better but for this book right now, it did not work for me, there were too many things wrong with the plot and I personally did not like one of the main characters. I'm surprised that I actually made it through this book as I kept thinking this is just wrong or what were they thinking, but I did finish it.

I had real issues liking Claire. I did not like her approach to her patient, and she took wanting to prove herself way too far. For someone who is supposed to be so smart I do not know how she could be so stupid in her profession. I do not know what would lead a psychiatric doctor to think that dressing up as the most recent victim would help your patient or yourself or even the victim would be in anyway beneficial. I could not follow her thought process throughout the book

There were times when things seemed fairly far fetched and that Baer and Greene were grasping at straws to make the book work and this caused the book to feel like it dragged one. There were too many issues and too many problems that Claire  and Nick needed to solve, it almost become 2 books in one. I am not really sure how the first half of the book and really the first mystery is connected to the second half. I think that Baer and Greene were just trying too hard and just put too much into their first novel. If they would have just take one of their ideas for this novel and developed it more properly I think the book would have been a lot better.

If you are going to use the Canadian legal system within your book perhaps they should have done some research first first, it is not the same as the American system. Life in prison does not actually equal life it equals 25 with the first chance of parole being available once a 1/3 of the sentence has been served. Unless the individual in prison is designated a dangerous offended, which means they are not going to get out of prison. However, it can be hard to have this designation assigned to an individual and I hate to say it but probably just murdering one individual would not get that designation assigned to that person. So there was every likelihood that **** (sorry that would be a spoiler if you decide to read it) would have gotten out of prison, especially if he had good behaviour.

NYPD Detective Nick Lawler was really the only redeeming quality in this book. Although I had issues with his character as well, I like that he was more real, he had issues both psychological and physical as well he did not seem to be the over demanding over sexualized male lead that often happens when you put a male and female team together. One of my main problems with is is that he  has degenerative eye disorder that impairs his site so eventually he will not be able to see, which in itself is an interesting concept as you get to know Nick you realize how much being a cop means to him and what it would feel like for him to loose his job because of it. But my issue is that issue just seems to completely disappear in the second half of the novel until the very end, it seems to no longer impede him like it should and is never even mentioned.

This book overall had too many far fetched ideas and flaws for me to enjoy it or even recommend for people to read it. I think that Baer and Greene do have talent for this type of wet in for TV but as for authors of novels there are still a lot of things that need to be worked on.

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