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Topic: Begin discussion of Through Violet Eyes

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Date Posted: 8/11/2012 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Discuss the mystery aspect of the plotline. How effective is the author's use of plot twists and red herrings? Were you able to predict certain things before they happened, or did the author keep you guessing until the end of the story? Did you find that the novel held everyone's interest throughout the story, or were there times when it failed to totally engross members of the group?

I've been reading mysteries for a long while now, I think I've just figured the genre out by now because I almost never have to wait till the end to know whodunnit. Even with movies and tv I've generally got the plot figured out half way through, my husband usually ask what I think the twist will be round about the middle so I can display my awesome mystery solving skills lol. It doesn't make it less enjoyable for me but I can usually pinpoint exactly what the writer did to give it away. It isn't fresh in my memory anymore so I can't point anything about this book out but I remember knowing Evan was alive the moment Natalie said that his mantra was the times tables.

edited trying to fix my funky formatting but I'm still in two or three different font sizes for some reason.



Last Edited on: 8/11/12 7:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2012 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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The only plot twist that actually surprised me was the death of Dan. 

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 8/11/2012 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I was surprised at Dan's death too and that was about it. I don't try to figure them out ahead of time but most stories follow a standard progression so I'm not overly surprised very often. I was engaged for the majority of the book, it wasn't a deep mystery but the subject matter was interesting. Something different anyway. 

Date Posted: 8/13/2012 2:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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  • How important is the setting to the story? If applicable, discuss the time period in which the book is set. Does the author provide enough background information for you to understand the events in the story?

  • I don't think the setting was a major player in this book, it was an alternate history US in roughly the same time we are currently in. It wasn't used as a way to tell the story, aside from the distance the Violets lived from each other.
     
Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 8/13/2012 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I don't think it was important either. They were on so many planes I didn't even keep track of where they were. 

Date Posted: 8/13/2012 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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Ditto!!

Date Posted: 8/17/2012 6:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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What is the most important part of a mystery or thriller to each member of the group-characterization, action, dialogue, or setting? How does this book rate in each of these areas?

For me it is definitely the action the action is what makes it a thriller.

Date Posted: 8/17/2012 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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Yep, action makes a thriller.  The setting can enhance the enjoyment of a series.  I like the ambience of a coffeehouse mystery, the details of a quilting cozy or other type where I can relate to the characters.  Dialogue only comes into play when it is badly done, then it detracts from the story. 

Characterization is one reason I enjoy reading a whole series as the characters grow and develop, get older, and change in their personal lives.  I think it adds to the enjoyment of a series when you know the whole backstory in previous books.  For me, it becomes kind of like visiting with an old friend.

Date Posted: 8/19/2012 6:54 AM ET
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  • Is the author equally invested in both character and plot? Or did the author put more effort into developing the story than in creating compelling and believable characters? Were the motivations of the characters believable, or did their actions feel like a means to further the plot?

  • I think that the book was very plot driven and the characters were sort of like plot devices just there to move the story along.
     
Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 8/19/2012 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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Yeah, the characters weren't overly developed but they didn't need to be to move the story on. It was much more about what they did than who they were. With this kind of book the only really well developed character is usually the hero, the main cop or whoever figures out the mystery. There were two in this story, Dan and, urg, forgot the girl's name, Chippy #1, and there was enough background on them but not too much. I like getting to know them in a series where they grow and change too but you don't want too much in any one thriller. 

 

To me the most important part of a mystery is the scheme, the plan, the m.o., and how it's unraveled. I don't have to like or care about the characters to love a mystery, they just have to play their parts right. Nero Wolfe is a very unlikable man but I love the books about him solving crimes. They're complex and he's a genius, what more can you ask for? 

Date Posted: 8/21/2012 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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I would agree, the action was more important than character development.

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