In the mystery stories The Murder at the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe and Kiss the Girls by James Patterson, there are differences in the storyline and style of presentation. Dealing with the plots and the way in which that the crimes are committed, are very contrasted in each book. When looking at the subject matter, the stories also differ in the manner that they are laid out, dealing with flashbacks and the order of events. In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, a classic detective story is played out in a busy Paris suburb.
The story begins as the narrator meets Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, a poor but well-educated young man. As they become close friends, they live together, departing rarely, each evening they take thoughtful strolls along the dark Paris streets. One night, Dupin stumbles upon a mystery taken right from the local newspaper, The Gazette. He reads of two recent murders with questionable motives and circumstances. However, the search for the murderer has proved unsuccessful. A series of eleven eyewitnesses, an assorted mix of occupations and cultures re-tell the murders of Madame and Mademoiselle LEspanaye.
However, they concur on one point. They all heard an indistinguishable voice “that of a foreigner” (Poe, pg. 185) and one of an angered Frenchman at the time of the murder. As the account of the last witness is registered, Dupin and the narrator decide to examine the apartment on the Rue Morgue for themselves. After collecting evidence and careful analysis, Dupin seems to have solved the murder beyond a shadow of a doubt. The strange circumstances lead Dupin to believe that the perpetrator could not have been human but of the animal kingdom.
He accuses an Ourang-Outang of the killing, which for certain has escaped from a careless owner. This accounts for the grotesque methods of murder and the foreign “voice” that is heard at the scene of the crime. The angry Frenchman mentioned was the ape’s owner, who discovered his pet’s crime after it was too late. Dupin is correct in his accusation and places an ad in the Gazette for a found orangutan. The owner comes right to him, and the mystery is solved. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a showcase of Poe’s amazing writing style, and the short story is full of suspenseful twists and turns.
In Kiss the Girls, the plot follows an unpredictable path that leads us to a suspenseful climax. Kiss the Girls started with a Dr. Alex Cross, a detective in Washington, and his niece Naomi who is kidnapped. After this, Dr. Cross decides to take the case, although in it is in Durham, North Carolina, which is 150 miles away. Once he arrives there, he discovers Casanova, a man who is kidnapping women and collecting them. The rest of his time here is focused on the escape of one woman named Kate McTearan and how she can help to solve the case and save Dr. Cross niece. The book also focuses very much on medical evidence and the medical aspect of how Casanova captures the girls without a trace. Dr. Cross determines, that Systole, in medical terms, is Benzenes cousin and it shows no symptoms. (Patterson, pg. 220), and that is how Casanova captures the girls. After an extensive search of a local forest, they find William Rudolph (Casanova) and his hidden house. Rudolph flees, and runs to Kates apartment, where he threatens to kill her.
Detective Cross enters the kitchen where they are and fires a single shot at Rudolph, killing him instantly. The unpredictable story line and imaginative writing style is what makes this book so suspenseful. Although these two pieces of literature are mysteries, the subjects are very different. In The Murders at the Rue Morgue, Poe goes into great detail showing us how these murders were committed. Poe shows us, with an investigation of the house and thoughtful police work, every detail about how the murders are carried out.
Poes story involved a murder that, in todays society, is very unlikely in the fact that it involved an Ourang-Outang as the murderer. In contrast, Patterson tries to show in Kiss the Girls, that the detectives have to wait for the abductor to make a mistake before they can capture him. The main body of the novel was based on the accounts that happen to Kate while she is taken prisoner. The crimes that are committed by Casanova are very likely to happen today, unlike in Poes story. Subject matter can tell you a lot about the author and the time period that the literature was written in.
Differences were shown in the plot between these two stories making them very unique in their own ways. The authors writing style in a work of literature can also make a great impact on the way that the storyline is presented. Poe wrote his story in chronological order, starting with the meeting of the characters, the murder, the investigation, and finally the conclusion. There are no hints that help the reader with the investigation, but only sudden actions, which in no way are foreseeable or foreshadowed in the book.
Poe wrote, I see that no animal but an Ourang-Outang could have impressed the indentations as you have traced them here, (Poe, pg 193) after seeing the descriptions of the digits that were slashed into the womans neck. In contrast, Patterson started his storyline by describing Kate and her ordeal about being held prisoner. After the reader is introduced to Kate, Patterson flashes back two weeks, showing what happened, leading up to the kidnapping. Patterson introduces small facts or hints such as Dr. Cross stating, this Casanova is smart, and knows a lot about police work (Patterson, pg 332), which allows the reader to guess or predict who the kidnapper may be. Most readers agree that the ending of the book is the most enjoyable part. In most cases, the climax occurs here. In Poes story, the end of the book puts the reader at ease, due to the fact that the killer is found. The book is set up by a long, thought out investigation of the murder scene where it ends with the capture of the Ourang-Outang and his owner in the last couple pages. In comparison, the ending of Pattersons story starts two thirds into the book.
Dr. Cross states at the police station, Casanova and William Rudolph have the same John Hancock, (Patterson, pg. 342) which lets the reader know who the real killer is. A suspenseful chase ensues and ends in a stand off between Cross and Rudolph. Detective Cross kills Rudolph, which in turn saves Kate. The final chapters are set up for the sequel, which Patterson has written, titled Along Came A Spider. The ending of a novel can either give the reader a sense of satisfaction or disappointment. Depending on the reader and the author, endings can be unpredictable or obvious from the start.
There are many differences in the storylines, the content and setup, as well as the endings of these two stories. The way that an author lays out his details can make a story enjoyable or unpleasant. Every author has his or her own writing style and gives the reader subtle hints into the investigation of mystery works of literature. The ability to attempt to solve the crimes as well as the getting to know the inner thoughts of the character in the story allows for more enjoyable reading. The fulfillment of a good story rests solely in the mind of the reader.