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Posted January 28, 2005
This is Patterson's first novel, written more than 25 years ago. As a first effort it's not too bad, although it's not great either. The plot involves an investigator at the Economic Crimes Commission who uncovers more than he expects when investigating a possible manipulation of stock price. The protagonist, Christopher Paget, has since appeared in other Patterson novels, including Degree of Guilt. The plot moves quickly and Patterson uses plenty of misdirection to keep you guessing. The characters are a little better than the usual formulaic stereotypes that inhabit most best-selling mysteries, but they are still wooden at times, with stilted dialogue to boot. The ending is a stretch and parts of the plot don't really add up to deliver the pat ending that mystery readers find so enjoyable, where everything makes sense in hindsight. Still, The Lasko Tangent is certainly readable, and not a bad way to pass an afternoon. Don't look for too much substance and you won't be too disappointed.
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