Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bad Twin: A "Lost" Fan's review

I’m not usually much for mystery writing. I havent’ read the Da Vinci Code, the closest thing I’ve read to a mystery is the directions to potatos au grautten that I had no idea how it would turn out when I actually pulled them out of the oven… the verdict: Tasty!

Techincially I haven’t read the book I’m about to review, but an iPod plus summer travel plus being a "Lost"FANATIC means I downloaded the audiobook for my flights and drives.

First a little background. Bad Twin was written by Gary Troupe, who I understand was killed in the tragic loss of Oceaniac Flight 815 somewhere in the Paciffic Ocean.

Wait a second… that was on a TV show, not in reality! What’s going on here??? ABC/Disney/ Hyperion Press got my seventeen bucks that’s what!

Finally onto the story…

Bad twin is the story of Paul Artisan a private investigator in New York who takes on small cases to sustain his meager lifestyle. Usually snapping pictures of disability-claiming workers playing tennis or trophies wives with the gardener. These small cases are disrupted when Cliff Widmore, a real estate mogul hires Artisan to track down his estranged twin brother.

"Lost" fans will jump at the name Widmore, more on that later.

The search for Xander (short for Alexander) Widmore takes him from Manhattan to the Jersey shipyards, to Key West, Havanna, a hippy retreat in California, Sydney and back to New York.

Artisan’s unofficial partner in this quest is his former professor and literature aficionado Manny Wiseman who quotes famous books in regard to the case at hand. You know now that I’m seeing some of these names in print for the fist time I’m actually beginning to notice a literal character depiction in the name. Wiseman: with all the answers, Artisan: who is performing the act, no I say art of gumshoeing. But I digress…

Even though I went into this book as simply a Lost fan looking to get my fix among summer reruns, I found myself getting into the character, his atctions and trying to figure out for myself what exactly happened to Xander Widmore?

Complicating things is the fact that whenever Paul interviews someone they end up dead within forty-eight hours. Now misdirection is a staple of mystery writing, thus sending you down a false path only to bring you to the true path in the end.

Yes, that is how every mystery novel is and this is no different. You can’t argue with what works.
This book however also includes a nice old man with his dog, a sexy Australian PI and a sweet old man in a sweater with a blind old dog who pushes you closer to the answer you need.

And that is what you need to keep your interest between little clues left in there for the rest of us “Lost” fans.

Hey It’s a pretty good book. Perfect for summer reading, or downloading to your iPod. If you’re not a “Lost” fan then you may not know why the Hanso Foundation gets some unnecessary mentions.

And that brings us to what you really want: The "Lost"References in the book:
  1. Widmore
    The Whitmore family hires Paul Artisan to find their estranged brother/son who has gone missing since April 15th (4, 15 - Numbers). Whitmore is also the last name of Desmond's lost lover. No reference to Penny who’s father’s name is Charles Widmore if you were wondering.
  2. Hanso
    The Hanso foundation has an office on the 42nd (numbers again) floor of the Whitmore Building in New York.
  3. Thomas Middleverk - Hanso Executive, Widmore Board member
    Middleverk is mentioned as a recent addition to the Whitmore Board of Directors. He his described as more political and devious than his stately predecessor, Alvar Hanso.
  4. Alvar Hanso
    A former member of the Whitmore Board
  5. Mr. Cluck's
    A chicken resturant where Paul Artisan stops for a quick dinner upon arriving in California. Also where Hurley worked before winning the Lotery.
  6. Cindy
    A stewardess on Oceanic Airlines. Also mentioned as the real-life romantic interest of the author.
  7. 81516 (8, 15, 16)
    The keypad entry to the Whitmore estate, also the twin's birthdays (August 15th and 16th, born 23 (another member) minutes apart on either side of midnight... also a Lost number)

These references don't really do much to open up any mysteries on the show. Theyre also little more than assides to the story, but they were fun little ad-ins for us lostaways.

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