I hate it when I invest my time in a mystery, only to have the writer pull some cheap trick to prove the sleuth’s worth and my stupidity.
Crappy writing. Yuck.
You know what I mean. You’re watching a show or reading a book and there’s clues (supposedly) littered throughout, but when you get to the villain’s unmasking, suddenly the sleuth is pulling out some piece of information you weren’t privy to. Cheap writing.
I’m watching a show and first off, one of the suspects is a suspect by such tenuous hold, a spider’s thread looks like steel in comparison. The detective tells the sleuth all the reasons the suspect could be the killer, only, in order for it to be true, they’d have to ignore little, inconsequential details like bullet trajectory, physics, and good ol‘ common sense.
Then the drop other clues with all the subltity of “HOLD ON NOW, I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU A CLUE TO THE KILLER’S REAL IDENTITY.”
And sure enough come time for unmasking, the sleuth is telling the audience about some piece of information none of the rest of us received. It’s such a cheap, low blow. Like the writing knew if they gave that piece, it would make it to obvious and rather than doing the grunt work and hard work of writing better, they just decided to withhold clues.
And the thing is, the stack of clues doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. It’s not like they can get a conviction anyway–oh, wait, it’s okay because there’s the murder confessing EVERYTHING. Uh, shouldn’t the sleuth have pieced it all together?
Hey, I’m all for the James Bond moment when the villain reveals all, but it’s all in the way its handled, and the last couple of stories I’ve watched, haven’t been handled well.