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Deception Point by Dan Brown

On page 313, end of chapter 73:

Gabrielle wondered what she could have done differently.

Nothing, she told herself. You did everything right.

It had simply backfired.

Dan Brown, like Michael Crichton and John Grisham, is one of my default authors for easy-reading fast-paced thrillers. Deception Point doesn’t disappoint: it reads like a Hollywood movie, the kind you want to watch for the special effects and not necessarily for the artistry of the auteur.

But drawing a reader in, hooking him from chapter to chapter, giving him a world he can slip into, is artistry in itself. And besides, like these Hollywood blockbusters, writers like Dan Brown get the point of fiction: it’s a make-believe world, so make me believe in it.

That’s one way I tell good fiction by feel. As I read, I find myself anticipating the next time I open the book because every time I do, I enter another world. I get so acquainted with the surroundings, the characters, that I feel like I have my own character in the storyline, and each return to the book is like catching up with friends.

How the author does this, I don’t know. Some do it through beautiful language and imagery, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Some do it through powerful characters, like Arundhati Roy, or unforgettably lovable ones, like Alexander McCall Smith.

And some do it by exploding a lot of bombs, lining up death-defying scenes, and mixing in a little mystery and romance.

To me, it’s still fiction that gets it.