* surprise

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 27, 2012

Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

  • Charlotte asks if Pitt has “any interesting cases.” The expectation is that Pitt will discuss his new case, as it is implied he has done in the past. But instead, he says, “No. An old case that will go nowhere.” Charlotte persists, “Nothing?” Pitt responds, “Nothing.”
  • This is surprising. Why does Pitt pass up the opportunity to discuss his case? Perhaps it suggests that this case is different from the others. We sense that his surprising response will have consequences. And it does. Charlotte eventually drags it out of him, and then she sets off, without telling him, to do her own investigation into his case. Would she have kept this from Pitt if he had not been withholding with her? 
  • It is a huge surprise when Pitt is arrested for the murder of the prostitute. It is even more surprising that Ballarat won’t lift a finger to help him. And it is the most surprising that, while Pitt languishes in prison, Charlotte and Emily solve the case without him.

What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulberg

  • Were there any significant surprises? No.
  • It was clear in Chapter 1 that Sammy would steal other people’s work and promote himself. That’s what he did until the end of the book.
  • Did Sammy Glick ever do anything out of character? No.
  • The details of what he did, and who he did it to, were of course unknown at the end of Chapter 1, but the path he was to follow was predictable, and there were no deviations from that path.

The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte

  • two surprises at the same time … “He’s dead,” and that it is the green-eyed girl who tells Corso.
  • However, why this happens as it does is never made clear.

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