Katherine Neville is the author of two lovely awesome wacky
novels that have almost exactly the same characters and plot (The Eight
and A Calculated Risk
), and one horrible awful excruciatingly bad
novel (The Magic Circle
) that also has basically the same characters and plot.
Elements of a Katherine Neville book:
-A strong aggressive ass-kickin' yet vulnerable woman Protagonist who works in a professional field (e.g. banking or accounting)
-A sexy mysterious foreign Dude who has all kinds of arcane knowledge and a crush on the Protagonist
-A Rivalry or Antipathy between the two main characters
-Some kind of Quest that requires them both to travel the world and the seven seas and fall in love along the way
-A MacGuffin (priceless chess set, ancient manuscript, etc.) that gives them something to talk about while falling in love
It seems pretty obvious that the Professional Woman is a kind of avatar of the author (In The Eight, she's even named Catherine, for heaven's sake), and that the Sexy Mysterious Foreign Dude is either
a) her husband or SO
b) the guy she used to have a crush on in high school
c) the effect of drinking too much sangria while reading Judith Krantz novels (not that this is a bad thing).
The first two novels are definitely tons of fun if you like escapist fiction (and if you don't, what's your problem? don't you have anything to escape from?). The third one is just boring and silly.