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3.9 out of 5 stars
The Maze
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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2003
More often than not (unfortunately) you read a poorly written novel by a bestselling author and wonder if the book got by the editor/publisher just because of the author's name. This is a perfect example. Why?
1) Great writers pay attention to detail without going overboard. In this case "less is more" is NOT more. Nothing here rings credible except for the mention of Hogan's Alley (which turns what seems to be a Keystone Cops routine into a trite, unfunny incident.) It's like the author declined to do anything more than superficial research.
2) Dialogue should flow and realistically represent how a character would talk (in this case FBI agents). In the MAZE, dialogue often sounds stilted and grown adults talk like teenagers.
3) Complex cases (i.e. serial killers) are not solved so easily as by the stroke of a computer key and a "oh gee, it must be someone who hated them" attitude.
4) The "Sherlock" shtick got old REAL FAST. Once is cute, EVERY time Lacey meets someone (and is kidded about her name) is corny and downright annoying.
It's not that you expect great literature from all thrillers but for a pleasant, well-researched and well-executed light romantic suspense read, check out the Harlequin Intrigue line. You'll fare much better!
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on June 9, 2003
I agree with the reviewer from Alexandria, VA. I'm amazed at the number of 5-star reviews this book garnered, since I could've written the dialogue from this book when I was a sophomore in high school.
To give just one example (out of dozens of possibilities), when an agent on the CAU is caught leaking information to the press, her confrontation with her superior read more like a fight behind the bleachers during homecoming than anything you would expect from professionals. Would said agent really be simply reassigned? Wouldn't the superior have something a little more cutting to say about the lapse than the comebacks that were about as snappy as "Oh, yeah?"? I found myself rolling my eyes so often I'm surprised they didn't stick that way.
In short, the plot had promise, but the immature writing brings this book down in quality to the point that it's hard to believe an author of Coulter's stature actually wrote it. (Is it possible she has a 15-year-old niece who's using her name?)
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on October 13, 2002
This embarrasingly adolescent book has absolutely no redeeming virtues, and I would recomend fans of the genre to look elsewhere: to James Patterson, Martin Cruz Smith, or Patricia Cornwell.
Although the book is supposed to be set in Washington, DC, the city is unrecognizable. Compared to Patterson, who salts his Alex Cross books with details that reflect knowledge of and affection for the city, Coulter seems to have never visited DC, or even bothered looking at a map of the city.
Worse, her characters are disconnected from the world the rest of us live in. One of the two main characters openly engages in what can only be called sexual harrassment towards the other main character, but the other characters watch this with approval, as does Coulter herself.
Naming this new organization within the FBI the "Criminal Apprehension Unit" is another example of Coulter's laziness. What, exactly, does she think the rest of the FBI does, if not apprehend criminals? Another lazy shortcut is the "magic computer" that is the chief investigative asset of this "Criminal Apprehension Unit". While computers are indispensible to the modern investigator, Coulter doesn't bother including them in ways that make sense. She pays no attention to their real capabilities.
In short, this book is terrible, with amateurish style, unbelievable characters, and a ridiculous plot. Don't waste your time.
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on December 21, 2001
Ms. Coulter is one of my favorite historical writers. But this book was just plain horrible. I don't know how anyone of you that read this book actually managed to give the book 5 stars. It was horribly written. The book actually starts off really good, which is how you get trapped into reading the rest of it in the first place. As the book goes it starts to make no sense at all. Too many things just don't add up. Too many questions are left unanswered. Like did Douglas and Lacy's mother have an affair? If not then why in the world did Ms. Coulter write that part in, where he goes into her hospital room and display the show of tender affection that he did??? HELP ME OUT WITH THAT ONE PLEASE. I also have some other strong issues concerning this book but I don't want to give away the plot and reveal the very stupid ending for anyone that just has to read this book.
I've decided to stick with her historical writings and when I'm in need of suspense writings I will look elsewhere.
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on July 14, 1997
I finished this book, but I don't know why. The characters never came to life, parts of the plot were totally unbelievable and the ending was "telegraphed" from the beginning. I kept checking the coyright to make sure Catherine Coulter was the author. The dialog consistently reminded me of an episode of Dragnet, even the love scenes.

This is more a diatribe against the "liberal" media, defense attorneys and giving someone accused of a crime any civil rights than a novel. In this novel, everything is black and white, there are no subtleties. Female characters are never civil to each other, let alone friendly or supportive. The female characters in this book are either sluts, crazy, jealous, antagonistic or some combination of the above - except for the heroine, who is, of course, almost a virgin. The male characters are not much better, although a few do manage to be supportive of the heroine.

I found several items unbelievable but none so much as the fact that a daughter of a well-known judge was murdered by a serial killer and, when her sister applies to the FBI 7 years later, the investigatioin does not turn up this fact. Please!
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on May 11, 2000
Why did I ever finish this book? I have to agree with the reviewer from CA - the dialog was so adolescent, I was embarrassed I was reading it. The continual unrealistic character building of potential suspects was, frankly, unbelievable. Subplots were never resolved. I often felt I was reading the writings of a teenage author. For example, the cheering and high-fives by the police and FBI following the killing of 2 men, which had just brutalized 2 women, was juvenile. After the shooting of one man in the 'back of the neck', blood pouring out of his nose and mouth, the victim continued to carry on several paragraphs of perfectly coherent conversation, with better grammer and vocabulary than he displayed through-out the book. I have to say this was one of the most disappointing of Coulter's books I have read.
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on August 20, 1997
I researched the reviews on The Maze and thought I'd give it a shot, particularly since it was contemporary fiction. I was extremely disappointed! The story was sluggish, the dialogue inconsistent and uninteresting and there was little character development. I never felt like I got to know the primary characters at all; there was simply no depth to the writing. Even the love relationship lacked passion and emotion. Halfway through the book, I lost interest, but continued to read, hoping that it would get better. It didn't. I know Catherine Coulter can write MUCH more interesting and intriguing stories. Perhaps her writing style is better suited to historical romance
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on August 27, 1997
This is the first book by Catherine Coulter I have read. Unfortunately, for her, it will probably be my last. The story line intrigued me because I like thrillers and mysteries. However, this book was so poorly written, I can't believe it was ever edited! The characters are childish and/or brutish, the dialogue is juvenile (do FBI agents really speak this way?), and I can't believe the FBI wouldn't know a candidate's sister was murdered by a serial killer! I also find it hard to believe that Ms. Coulter ever wrote romance novels. The romantic episodes in the book are childish at best. A definite loser
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on May 19, 2001
In the first book, The Cove, I ignored the one or two references to "liberal judges" and read on. In this book, however, there were too many to ignore. CC makes a big point about how ridiculous it is for a judge to take into account the fact that the bad guy in the story was viciously abused as a child. Yet in both these stories, the female victom is suffering from repressed memories from her youth which drives her behavior and we are led to sympathize with her. Isn't that a bit hypocritical?
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on December 28, 1999
A reader could hurt herself, falling through all the plot holes in this book.
Do you enjoy being treated as though you were stupid? i.e., being expected not to notice all the hanging threads and gratuitous plot twists? Do you enjoy a book full of ludicrously unrealistic characters? Do you enjoy abusive "romantic" banter? If so, this novel is for you!
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