Shark science fail in a Jeffery Deaver novel

I am a big fan of Jeffery Deaver’s bestselling “Lincoln Rhyme” series of mystery novels. However, I was disappointed by the lack of basic fact-checking in one part of his latest, “The Burning Wire“. In this book, the bad guy is sabotaging the electricity grid of New York city.

Here is a paragraph from page 39, with “he” referring to the bad guy:

“He thought again about fish and electricity. This time, though, not the creation of juice but the detection of it. Sharks, in particular. They had, literally, a sixth sense: the astonishing ability to perceive the bioelectrical activity within the body of prey miles away, long before they could see it”

Actually, sharks have seven senses, not six. Also, the electric sense works from less than 20 feet away, not miles away.


One comment

  1. Mark Kawakami · August 5, 2010

    Actually it’s an eighth sense, but don’t get too excited, humans have six senses, it’s just we keep forgetting about #6: Equilibrium. Our sense of balance and orientation, is every bit as much a sense as the other five.

    Actually, depending on what definition of “sense” you use, there’s a lot more than these.

Comments are closed.