My bedtime routine always includes reading just until it's so late that I can't possibly get enough sleep before I have to get up again, so last night I snuggled in with a Dennis Lehane mystery called Darkness, Take My Hand. I'm enjoying the story, but last night something happened that made me spend entirely too much time on one page.
In the story, Main Character (MC), a detective (of course), is being paid to tail a young college student and make sure he's not in danger. The tailee's name is Jason, and MC tails him into a movie theater, where they proceed to watch Apocalypse Now. MC (speaking in the first person) describes the theater as "almost empty" and sits about ten rows behind Jason.
MC continues describing the movie/movie theater action: "About the time that Robert Duvall was holding a barbecue on the beach, a man came in and sat in the row behind Jason, about five seats to his left...I could see his profile--smooth cheeks interrupted by a trim goatee, close-cropped dark hair, a stud glinting from his earlobe."
MC's next observation: "During the Do-Long Bridge sequence, as Martin Sheen and Sam Bottoms crawled through a beseiged trench looking for the battalion leader, the man moved four seats to his left."
Are you with me so far? He must have meant to say "four seats to his right," right? Because unless I'm counting on the wrong fingers, we now have the man sitting a total of nine seats to the left of Jason.
MC goes on describing the movie scene and mixing it up with what's happening in the theater: "'Ain't you?' the kid screamed and the guy with the goatee leaned forward and Jason's head tilted back."
Whaaaaaaaaaattt??? How can the man lean forward and whisper to Jason when he's sitting nine seats to Jason's left? I don't get it. I had to reread that passage several times to make sure I wasn't missing something (please tell me if I was). By then I was no longer in the story but standing waaay back observing the writing of it and wondering how many hands this book went through before it was published and wondering if none of those people could count!
I finally moved through the discomfort and got back into the story, which is not bad so far, but you can see by the fact that I'm still moaning about it this morning, that I DO NOT LIKE IT WHEN STUFF LIKE THAT HAPPENS!
The good news is that it's Saturday, and I got to sleep late.