What caught me most off guard when reading The Plot was its tightness of, well, the plot. It’s one of those books you can read in a few days or even an afternoon and just flow through it with- out even realizing you’re reading a book in the first place. These kinds of books are dangerous friends, ones which will suck away your time and turn your hot meals cold if you’re not careful.
The Plot (written by Jean Hanff Korelitz) keeps that tightness throughout its length, sprinkling in details about Jacob Finch Bonner, a down on his luck writer who decides to teach at a small college as an author to earn some extra cash. There he meets Evan Parker, a moody aspiring writer with what he claims is the “next great story”. When—years later—Jacob finds out that Evan has died, he decides to take Evan’s story and make it his own. The novel brings Jake fame and fortune, but soon after he’s bombarded with social media messages from a person who knows his secret.
It’s a compelling, packed book, and Korelitz does a good job with its pacing, though I felt that the opening few chapters were a bit off in their timing. We spend so little time with Jake before he writes his new masterpiece and the book kind of sputters into its main plot.
Characters are distinct enough, though I’ve not seen much in the way of anyone memorable or interesting. It’s the plot itself which drives things forward instead. Her prose as well is transparent, getting out of the way of Jake’s conflict.
In so many words, it’s all in service of this plot, and it’s a well-structured thriller at its finest. It throws enough in your way to keep you guessing up until the eleventh hour. While it’s only in hardcover as of this review with a little luck there’ll be a paperback coming out in the near future. Either way, I’d recommend picking this one up as it’s got a lot to love and would be a great beach read for anyone who loves a good thriller.