I know, I know, it's always SO exciting when Rejection posts a new book review from the only place still allowing me space, The Oregonian. But try to contain yourselves, please. This is a review of a new novel by T. Jefferson Parker, The Renegades. You can read it here. The review is perhaps of mild interest because it points out a key issue for readers of mystery fiction: the ability to "suspend disbelief" and what authors do that makes it difficult, if not impossible. When we read crime fiction or mysteries, we know going in that much of what will happen in the story is not what would occur in real life - regular people don't turn into crack detectives and trap criminals or find missing loved ones. But when a skilled writer tells a story so convincingly we forget that it's not a fantasy, and the alternative universe we become submerged in is every bit as persuasive as the real life we actually lead. It takes a number of elements, expertly orchestrated for this to happen, and for me, a key one is plausible actions and dialog from characters, particularly the protagonist and supporting cast. In The Renegades, although Parker tells an amusing, sometimes exciting story, he falls flat on his face in this department. His lead protagonist doesn't act his age, nor does a 17 year old boy, who spouts off laughable lines and then does martial arts like Bruce Lee. Sorry, T, just couldn't buy it.