I finished a book last night that was one of those "I can't wait to find out what happens" stories. The author had me caring desperately for the characters, hoping against hope that they could defeat the almost certain doom that swept toward them. I read and read and read...and then they died. Greek tragedy and ANNA KARENINA aside, that's not what I read for. I read to be entertained, at least when I read genre fiction. I contend that an "entertaining" author who gives the reader false hopes then zaps his characters betrays an unwritten contract between provider and client. Yup, you surprised me. Good for you, I guess. But getting to know a person intimately, coming to believe that he isn't really such a bad guy, and then watching him get shot by the cops and bleed out on the floor is not my idea of entertainment. When I write, if I create a character readers like and root for, that character is going to triumph somehow. Not trying to give anything away. I'm just sayin'.