Last night I read the first "genre" thriller I've read in a while. Michael Connelly's The Poet. It's engaging. I read the last 400 pages in one stretch. Mostly the prose consists of what Martin Amis calls "dead sentences"--sentences that are purely utilitarian, that exist only to convey information. But from time to time there are pleasing moments, like when the narrator says of his parents:
The plot--concerning a serial killer of cops--is deviously structured (I am sometimes amazed by the intricacy of narrative that thriller writers are able to devise...I cannot imagine, say, Salman Rushdie or Martin Amis or James Salter or Norman Mailer or almost any other esteemed "literary" writer except James Ellroy, if he counts, building machines that work so delicately...it's a skill that goes underappreciated) and Connelly switches pleasingly from first person to third person, quietly going all "meta" so subtly that the undiscriminating reader will not be jarred. I like that. It's like a long take in a thriller film that's incredibly difficult to pull off yet doesn't call attention to itself.
I am also sure that since that time I have continued to disappoint them in the choices I have made. I think of these as small disappointments accruing over time like interest in a bank account until it was enough for them to comfortably retire on. We are strangers.