Marc Bernardin
June 25, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dead Lines

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Greg Bear
genre
Fiction

We gave it a C+

The thing about horror stories, or any kind of thriller for that matter, is that they make us wait. And we’re cool with that. We know (or hope) that all the disparate plot strands — in this case, an ex-pornographer who lost a daughter, a mysteriously efficient new mobile communications service, and an eerie old-Hollywood estate — will eventually knot together in some revelatory way, and so we commit ourselves to the carrot-donkey dynamic and plod along for the ride. But aside from some nice character embroidery, and one truly harrowing tucking-in-the-kid scene, ”Dead Lines” leaves you feeling a bit like a jackass. After all, if you knew that what you theorized was going on by page 100 was actually what was going on, you’d have never kept reading.

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