“Cari Mora” - New Thomas Harris Novel (No Spoilers)

I’m a huge Harris fan and I read an advanced copy of his forthcoming novel “Cari Mora” and…I was hugely disappointed.

First of all, it’s just over 300 pages but with very short chapters for the most part. It oftentimes reads more like a screenplay treatment than a real novel, the kind you can just lose yourself in.

The characters, including Cari herself and the main bad guy, Hans, don’t have much to them; they do not really pop off the page as rich, full individuals. (Cari is certainly no Clarice Starling). Worse, the supporting characters - and there are a lot of them - are often introduced simply by name and nothing else. I found myself often confused by who was who and whose side they were on.

The main plot is threadbare, to put it kindly. Cari has a backstory with a few interesting moments, but the rest is not very involving. An anticipated showdown is a complete dud and the story just…stops. (By the way, the Amazon review, which is a rave, describes a third-act “twist” that Harris keeps up his sleeve - I have no idea what the reviewer is referring to. Maybe I missed something, but I doubt it).

The only positive aspect is that I suppose it could make a pretty good movie. Maybe.

Bottom line: Harris had 13 years to deliver and failed, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll be interested in hearing other opinions. This wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong!