32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Jack Did Sawyer a Favor when He Threw this One into the Fire,
This review is from: Bad Twin (Hardcover)"Bad Twin" is billed as the final work of author Gary Troup, who is missing and feared dead after the disappearance of Oceanic flight 815. Of course, anyone familiar with the magnificent TV drama "Lost" will recognize that this setup itself is part of the storyline. So the real question is whether the book is an important piece in that show's intriguing mythology or just a shameless cash grab aimed at the show's cult following?
Unfortunately, the book quickly reveals itself to be the latter. The "Lost" connection (such as it is - more on that later) notwithstanding, "Bad Twin" is simply an awful piece of crime fiction. The story packs in every pulp cliche imaginable: the down-on-his-luck private eye, the seductive femme fatale who could be ally or assassin, the conflicted client with secrets to keep. All of them bumble into each other's lives solely for the purpose of spouting ridiculous dialogue (just wait until you get to the "seduction" scenes - it's comedy at its finest).
The plot feels completely linear, i.e. throughout the entire book you pretty much know how the story is going to play out, right up until the very end. This is accomplished through the most ham-handed of exposition from the protagonist's mentor, a character who shows up from time to time to completely explain everything and offer "a vs. b" options for what will happen until his next appearance. After a while, this becomes annoying because the author is obviously condescending to the reader with this overdone explanation. "Don't read much, TV viewer? Here - let me help you." The book wraps up with the crown jewel of lazy writing: the chapter where all surviving good guys get together to just say out loud the means and motives of all of the story's mysteries. It's about as gripping as a below-average episode of "Scooby-Doo".
Alright, alright - so it's not exactly Dashiell Hammett or Michael Connelly. But what's in it for the "Lost" devotee? Regrettably, very little. There are passing references to the Hanso Foundation, the numbers, and even quotes from the philosopher John Locke (get it?!? like the character on the show!). But all of it seems cut-and-pasted into the story for the sake of selling this dog to the show's rabid fanbase. Themes of faith, redemption and purgatory (an anagram of the author's name, by the way) are hammered into the reader's head with the artlessness that is the trademark of everything else in the book. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that this had been a rejected manuscript that the publishers bought back on the cheap and so that an intern could sprinkle it with "Lost" tidbits before rushing it off to press.
I had reservations as soon as I saw "Bad Twin" on the shelf, but just couldn't help myself. Save your money and save your time (that's one good thing - you can probably read the entire book in a day) and just keep watching the show. Falling for these sorts of cross-marketing gimmicks ultimately end up cheapening the experience of the show itself, which is a shame.