Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Wrapping things up

I've clearly stated my love for Charles McCarry's Paul Christopher novels, but I have to say Second Sight is a hard one to recommend. Set long after the disastrous conclusion to the Last Supper, the book reads like a collection of deleted scenes from the prior books roughly connected by a thin plot. The book consists of a series of flashbacks of various characters from the Christopher world. In many cases, we learn the fates or the unsuspected connections between characters. If there were any dangling plotlines from a prior book that you wish had been resolved, then chances are you will find resolution here.

The multi-decade connections often strain credulity, but the book remains a strong read if you can put these qualms aside. McCarry's general even-handness and realism break down only when he deals with the media, personifyed in a womanizing, hypocritical limosine leftist who dogs Christopher and his people. Written at the end of the Cold War, there is a sense of sadness at the close of an age. My paperback copy has the subtitle of The Last Paul Christopher novel, which turned out not to be the case, as McCarry has written two more since.

This book should only be read by those who have read all the proceeding novels. If you've committed yourself to those, you probably will enjoy this one as well. If the earlier ones didn't work for you, give this one a pass.

No comments: