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Posted March 23, 2009
Way too much angst
I never before read a book by Stephen White. That should be an irrelevant piece of information, I think, but it matters in the case of this book.
Throughout and to the very end of "Dry Ice" I felt I was missing critical information. Something happened, something very BIG happened in the lives of the principal characters of this book. It happened before this story began, but it influenced everything in this story. Unfortunately, whatever it was never really was explained. But it certainly caused a great deal of hand-wringing and soul-searching by our hero, Alan Gregory.
Alan is good at this, you see, because he is a psychologist trained to find layers of meaning, innuendo, and ulterior motives in everything. Everything! Including everything that he himself says or thinks. Furthermore, because of professional ethics, he is tormented by his inability to share with anyone any of the hugely important things he is told by his clients. There can't even be any off-the-record pillow talk with his lovely wife, Lauren. Actually, there is a double ethical conflict here because most of his clients seem to be mixed up in some horrible criminal activity or other and Lauren happens to be an attorney in the district attorney's office. Very inconvenient, indeed.
This is a story that goes on and on, with ever-deepening issues threatening the fabric of the Gregorys' domestic life, with no-one seemingly able to address them in any kind of adult fashion. These people simply can't talk to each other. I wanted to grab them both and knock their heads together.
Finally, ultimately, it really all comes to nothing. The relationship issues are left hanging. The mystery is riddled with unanswered questions. But perhaps that is as it must be if one plans to write a sequel. Which Mr. White certainly must be planning. Oh, for heaven's sake. I'm really out of touch. I just checked on-line and, sure enough, Mr. White has already written a sequel. It's called "Dead Time." And further research has revealed that "Dry Ice" built on a story in a previous book: "Privileged Information." I obviously should have read that book first. How foolish of me to pick up a series book and thinking it might be able to stand on its own.
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Posted December 8, 2011
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