Books/Characters that seem to beget others

Ever read a great book, and feel like you’ve read it before? That’s because all great stories come from each other. Not derivative but lovingly integrated, good take what impacts them and allows the power to enter new prose. Here I wish to draw my own connections; maybe you’ll agree. Maybe you’ll find other connections or prove me wrong.


Nora Roberts’ The Witness (pub’d 4/17/12) has a character (Liz/Abigail) who is so much like Steig Larsson’s Lisbeth Salandar, one cannot help but draw those conclusions. In this case, the derivation (on Roberts’ part) has none of the high tension, strong character, wonderful quirkiness of the Larsson character first seen in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(first published in September 2008).

I tend to defer to the older publication as the source. Thus, in the above example, and purely off the top of my head — I have limited reading history in this genre — I can suggest that Corrie Swanson of Still Life with Crows (Preston & Child, 7/1/2003) predated Lisbeth Salandar, and maybe, just maybe influenced Larsson’s Lisbeth Salandar.

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