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March 05, 2010

Picoult-a-Thon: Day Two (79-152)


Confession: I fell asleep reading last night so I read some of this today. I promise I'll be caught up by bedtime tonight, though.

Okay. This is actually getting good. Once again, I'll let Rachel do the hard work and crib her summary:

Ooh, so many possibilities are emerging now. To summarize, we know that Jess is dead; we know that Theo saw her right before she disappeared; we know that Jacob came home from an appointment with her in serious distress; we know that he moved her body and set it up so that the police would find it a few days later; we know that the cops suspect Jess's jerk of a boyfriend. Picoult is setting it up, though, like Jess fell and Jacob cleaned up and moved her body, perhaps (as Katie mentioned) thinking that he's "taking care of his brother" (House Rule number 5) by covering up for him. It also appears that Jacob's forensics obsession is at play here; has he set the scene up as a test for the local PD? It begins to look that way.
Actually, I didn't get that we were supposed to think she fell. I got that we were supposed to think that someone else killed her and Jacob was covering up, possibly because he thought it was Theo. Hmm. But Rachel could be right.

A line I thought was awesome, from Theo: "I make myself ramen noodles and eat them in my room with Coldplay blasting as I do my French homework." Instead of seeming fake, that level of detail was just REAL. And now I want to eat ramen. And listen to Coldplay. Moving on!

Some annoyances:

1. Again, the way Jacob is written, especially in his sections, seems very uneven. I mean, I get that he may not ALWAYS be completely literal, but they imply that he is, and then he just isn't.
2. Rich's behavior toward Emma was too blatantly unprofessional. I mean, fine, I get that he's supposed to be attracted to her, but it doesn't seem like he is in general sufficiently unprofessional to act that way during an investigation, does it?
3. It also seemed unlikely that Rich would discount Jacob as a suspect just because he's autistic.
4. I agree with Rachel about them Not Playing By The Rules. (See: fair play.) This drives me nuts, but I am slightly more likely to forgive Picoult since this isn't actually marketed as a mystery.
5. I still want Mark to have some sort of redeeming trait. And - Mark Maguire? Seriously? Isn't that a little too close to Mark McGwire? Maybe the twist will involve performance-enhancing drugs!
Overall, though, I got pretty into this section, and I can't wait to read more. She certainly knows how to pull the reader in.

I think my prediction will stay the same for now: Each brother thinks he's covering for the other, but a third party is actually involved. Oh, and about the metal thing - sure, I guess the iPod. Hm. Can't think of anything better at this point.

Posted by Kat at March 5, 2010 08:14 PM

The thing that makes me think that she died of a fall is that Theo said that she stumbled as he ran away. Or, OK, maybe now I think maybe we're supposed to be thinking Jacob did it and we were supposed to miss those two little words? Like in Salem Falls, if you were paying attention really well you could predict the end, but only if? Now I am all undecided.

Posted by: Rachel at March 5, 2010 09:37 PM
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