Tag Archives: Max Allan Collins

Too Many Cooks?

inheritInherit the Dead” is a serial crime fiction novel meaning it was written by a series of famous crime writers, each one contributing one chapter.  It was billed as “Twenty thrilling writers.  One chilling mystery.”  It is an interesting book, but not for the obvious reasons.  First, it is great that this group of highly successful and in-demand writers contributed their time and talents, because the proceeds of the book go to Safe Horizon (www.SafeHorizon.org) a victim assistance group.  Second, the book was a fascinating read from the technical standpoint.  As a reader, you can tell the very different style and voice of the various writers, even though they are working with the same characters, setting, and plot. Still, I could guess the female from the male writers before checking on their names based on the amount of emphasis on describing the luscious heroine.  Some were so different, you could tell by a glance, meaning a quick look at the chapter revealed a lot of short, snappy dialogue versus other writer’s long, descriptive prose paragraphs.  In fact, many of the writers I have never read before, but two or three stood out as such remarkable talents in just one chapter that I intend to check out some of their novels. Others, I did not care for at all, and noted their names as well.  Even though the main character was given to each writer in a general outline, everyone put their own stamp on him.  Sometimes, however, this made for some tedious reading as each writer in each chapter spent time just describing some bit of background about him or some other descriptive detail.  Since the writers were given an assignment for the their chapter and a description of the characters and setting, there was a good deal of repetition overall, but in a unique way.  Also, the plot for a murder mystery was a bit thin and the pace was slow, but that is to be forgiven considering the editor managed to somehow weave it all into some sort of comprehensive whole, without any major inconsistencies. Give it a read…better yet, buy the book, for a good cause.  The contributing authors included: Mark Billingham, Lawrence Block, C.J.Box, Ken Bruen, Alafair Burke, Stephen L. Carter, Lee Child, Marcia Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, Max Allan Collins, John Connolly, James Grady, Heather Graham, Bryan Gruley, Charlaine Harris, Val McDermid, S. J. Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, Dana Stabenow, Lisa Unger, and Sarah Weinman,


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