I was looking at Jeff Abbott's writing now and seven years ago. Jeff is a writer that I admire, so this is not intended in any way as anything critical.
Back in 2004 in his Whit Mosely Thriller 'A Kiss Gone Bad', some sample dialogue runs like this:
'Why don't you get started on searching and cataloguing the rest of the boat?' Claudia suggested in a patient tone. Gardner went upstairs with his smirk.
'Houston know-it-all,' Claudia muttered.
'Eddie's gotta stop those public displays of affection for me,' Whit said..........
'This just sucks,' Whit said.
'Did you know him well?' Claudia asked........
All those attributions!
Now, in 2010's (excellent) 'Adrenaline', we have:
'Tell us, who did you and Lucy work for?'
'The Company.' I used the insider term for the CIA.
He shifted the words: 'Who gave you the money that Lucy moved through the accounts?'
'I didn't know about the money.'
'Why did you bomb the office? Who was threatened by the office's work?'
No attributions just beats.
That's much more modern. Surprising how much that has changed in just seven years. The idea then was that all those 'saids' and 'answereds' and 'muttereds' and 'askeds' would be understood by the reader to be there for guidance and were not to be noticed. Now they seem to get in the way.
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