Friday, July 17, 2009

Book Review: Lionel White, Flight into Terror (1955)

I liked the first 30 pages of Flight into Terror well enough; I liked the last couple of pages, too. Unfortunately, I came close to hating the hundred or so pages in between. This bulk of the novel fell prey to one of my major noir peeves: plots that are driven by the completely irrational behavior of their protagonists. In this case, Dal Brandon is an ordinary guy who accidentally ends up with $100,000 that does not belong to him, and the people who want their money back kill Dal's wife. For no sane reason, Dal then decides to take the money and run. He does not care about the money, he says; rather, he is intent on finding his wife's killers and avenging her death. Lionel White might have made this believable if he had portrayed Dal as a devoted, loving husband, but the opposite is true. Not only does Dal not love his (late) wife, but at the start of the novel he is planning to abandon her, having already purchased a one-way plane ticket to Chicago. White's portrayal of Brandon in this way wrecks the plot of this book. Grade: D+

No comments:

Post a Comment