Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Something Missing" by Matthew Dicks

"Something Missing" is best described as "Dexter-lite". Martin, a loner with OCD, has an interesting career: he has "clients" whose home he will go to and take the things he knows they will not miss. Great premise, likable hero, but the problem: this is really a short story stretched out to 300 hundred pages. Dicks attention to detail is fun for the first chapter, but afterwards is tedious. There are parts where I just skimmed a whole page because the premise was clear, and Dicks was just over-describing.

It takes a hundred pages for the true story to emerge: Martin begins to interact in his clients life: craftily encouraging one man to send roses to his wife, preventing another client's surprise party from being ruined, and stopping another client from being sexually assaulted.

The sole-ful parts? Page 151, the note the husband gives his wife with one red rose: "I sometimes forget to tell you how much I love you. Forgive me."

Page 212 "Though he was enjoying the new sense of adventure, he was also becoming concerned about where these changes might lead. Chaos led to unpredictability, and Martin's life was becoming more chaotic the he could ever remember it ever having been."

Page 238, martin reconciles with the father he has not seen in 20 years: "you're the only family I've got, dad. You let me down, for sure, but I think I probably let you down too. Our relationship got messed up pretty badly, but it wasn't because either of us wanted it to. We were just stupid. A couple of cowards without a brain between us."

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