Day 31, Chapter 31
This morning I had a vague recollection of there being a James Patterson TV series a few years ago – not that I ever watched it, mind you, I just remembered seeing commercials for one. Or maybe I was just remembering those television commercials for his books – sometimes you can catch those on crappy channels you’re embarrassed to admit to watching. You know what I’m talking about, Lifetime watchers.
Anyway, it turns out that Women’s Murder Club, starring Angie Harmon as Detective Lindsay Boxer, ran on ABC from October 2007 – May 2008. The show struggled in the ratings – especially since it ran during the Writers Guild strike, which couldn’t have helped the scripts – and was cancelled after 13 episodes. Critic Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, at the time, that “When you hear the bad writing, see the embarrassing character portrayals and suffer through the agonizing 45 minutes…you’ll want to sew your eyes shut.” So it’s better than the books?
Another revelation that came out of my early morning Google searching, was that Yuki Castellano – star of Chapter 31, among others – is not a founding member of the Women’s Murder Club. She is a replacement for Assistant District Attorney, Jill Bernhardt, who was killed off in The 3rd Degree. (Yuki did not make it to the TV series, which is how I noticed.) I think television audiences were missing out, as proven by today’s reading:
Yuki hugged the tanned, graceful woman who opened the door.
“God, it’s been what, six years? You look the same!” Sue Emdin said to Yuki, the whole time looking at her like Gee, I haven’t heard from you since graduation, so what’s this about?
Yuki is visiting this Sue Emdin because she was close friends with Casey Dowling – if you recall, from Chapter 14, Yuki also went to law school with Casey, so she’s taking a serious, somewhat personal approach to the case. Although, Yuki is just a criminal prosecutor, so I’m not sure in what capacity she’s interviewing people about an ongoing murder investigation. I assume Patterson knows what he’s doing, so I’m just gonna go with it.
“Understand, both Marc and Casey are my friends,” Sue said. “I don’t want to say anything behind Marc’s back.”
“I do understand, and right now, this is between us,” Yuki said. “If you know something, you have to tell me, and you have to let me use my judgment. You’d expect the same from me.”
Yuki Castellano, you manipulative little bitch! You haven’t talked to this lady in six years, and you show up at her house, drink her iced tea, eat her cookies, and guilt her into gossiping about her dead friend’s marriage problems?
“Between you and me, Casey told me that she thought Marcus was having an affair. There. I said it.”
“Did she have proof? Did she suspect someone in particular? Did she confront Marcus?”
“Slow down. One question at a time,” Sue said.
“Sorry. Backing up, now. Did Casey have any proof that Marcus was screwing around?”
“No, but she was suspicious. Marc’s always been a letch. He put his hand on my butt once or twice. Hell, he’s a movie star. But Casey said, and I quote, ‘He’s gone off me.’ Meaning he didn’t have the hots for her anymore. That’s all the proof she had – none – and at the same time, she was alarmed.”
As funny as it is, I’m really starting to think that part of my brain is dying from reading and analyzing the dialogue from this book. For the last two years, I’ve been a freelance reviewer/judge for Publisher’s Weekly and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and this is what the dialogue is like in 90% of the manuscripts I’ve been assigned. Remember, these are unpublished, raw manuscripts by first time novelists without multi-million dollar book deals, full editing staffs, and fawning co-authors. The part of Patterson that used to care about the craft of writing should be embarrassed to put this crap out there, but instead, he just counts the cash and cranks out the next book, all under the bullshit assumption that “this is what people like to read.” I just think his readers are all brainwashed into thinking that this is quality, acceptable entertainment. It makes me sick.
“She told me that if she found out he was cheating, she’d leave him.”
“When did she say that?”
“Sue, Casey was killed on Wednesday.”
“Look somewhere else, Yuki. Trust me on this. It was that cat burgler. Marcus didn’t do it.”
Sigh. Commercial break.
Go to Day 32.