Successful author syndrome
Maybe I should stop listening to mysteries on audio.
I had the chance to listen to the audio book of another wildly successful mystery/thriller writer. Once again, I was disappointed with what I heard. (I made a report similar to this back at this post.)
The protagonist was incorrectly suspected of murder. Oh, and she was wealthy. Hugely wealthy. So what does this woman with means and power do when incorrectly suspected of murder? She goes on the run. Oh, and she was sexy. Hugely sexy. So sexy in fact that she is able to seduce one of the friends of her grown sons and get him to hide her.
The investigating cop is, of course, incompetent and holds a grudge against the protagonist for some unclear reason. Only the ultra wealthy and sexy protagonist can see all of the clues that prove her innocence. And despite many possible, equally likely explanations for the crime, the one the protagonist chooses to be true turns out to be the right one, but only because the perp is intimidated (by the wealthy, sexy, righteous protagonist) into admitting guilt. It was a very unsatisfying resolution.
Characters are introduced for no other reason than to insult them. They never come up again.
I think this is yet another example of what I’ve decided I’ll call “successful author syndrome.” (And which, it turns out, is a phenomenon observed and identically named by several others.) The author has a formula and a familiar stable of character types, so he just phones in his story and the editor takes it as it comes, knowing it will sell and be a big hit.