Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time Warp

One of the joys of reading a series is the continuation of the timeline/story, right? While I was in Evansville on Saturday, I was super-excited to see another book in my favorite police series, Badge of Honor by WEB Griffin.

Began reading it yesterday.

And after two pages, double-checked to see if my eyes were deceiving me.

You see, when the last book left off, it was the mid-1970's in Philedelphia; the main character was 25 or 26; and his girlfriend had just been brutally murdered.

At the begiining of the new book, the secondary characters are driving SUV's, talking about cell phones, and taking pictures with a digital camera.

Whoa....those weren't around in 1976!!

I kept reading. Maybe the author decided to modernize the series? What would Matt be doing, thirty years later?

Surprise...when Matt shows up, it is revealed to be six months after the murder of his beloved; he is still twenty-six, and about to find out if he passed the Seargent's exam!

So then I wondered if I'd missed the subtle progression of time; had some of the books taken place in the 1980's or even 90's? I decided to check out amazon.com. And found the following critique:

W.E.B. Griffin's books, while captivating reads, have frequently suffered from inconsistencies from one book to the next. This has often been a result of his detailed summaries, often including dialogue, of events from previous books. Among the Griffin fans with whom I've chatted, this is the most commonly cited complaint.

The newest entry in the Badge of Honor series is the most extreme example. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the setting is jarringly moved from the mid 1970s to the present day. Characters are missing with little explanation. However, the Badge of Honor series has been suffering through the last few entries. Significant subplots have been developed only to drop out of the series. Two previous books have had significant subplots surrounding slayings of police officers, but these have sunk without a trace. And of course, the last book developed the idea that the crack Narcotics 5 squad was crooked, giving every suggestion that book number 8 would be based on this investigation.

Okay. Whew! It's not just me. Yes, I'll keep reading, but I am very disappointed he chose to play with time!

4 comments:

Mona Risk said...

LOL Molly, you are a good reviewer and critique. We better be careful of inconsistencies.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ashley Ladd said...

I have a book releasing with TEB this coming August set in 1978. The heroine has been sucked back into time. I tried to be very careful to place everything in the 78 time period except for the heroine's memories of 2010. I had a lot of fun reliving 1978 while writing this book and hope my readers will, too, particularly those who loved the 70's as much as me.

What you described would drive me nuts. That's a really bad case of a writer not paying attention to what he's doing and where he is.

Linda Kage said...

Wow. I'm not even sure I would've made the mistake of putting cell phones and digital cameras in the mid 70s...and I was even alive then.

You'd think an editor or someone would catch that. Hmm.