Can brains really beat brawn? These characters can solve a crime no problem, but are they any match for Lit Madness?
Solving crimes in India is no easy task, but this is nothing like India. For one, Vish Puri’s sandown cap and full suit will not be very efficient attire in the arena. He could use his skills as a detective and former military intelligence officer to overtake Marti, but his trusty revolver might be necessary.
Marti MacAlister challenges Vish to spend a weekend on the streets of Chicago before he complains about solving crime. When it comes to this arena, her street smarts will no doubt come in handy; plus, she’s got her two kids to fight for.
WINNER: While Vish overthinks his plan of attack, Marti pistol-whips him and continues on her way.
With no clue to his identity, Jason Bourne has the advantage of no ties to the past to distract him. He also appears to be a killing machine, pulling out various techniques and using literally any object as a weapon without any previous knowledge or training.
Kinsey’s history of switching careers—from cop to investigator to PI—gives her the flexibility to adapt to this life-or-death match. This loner’s never needed to seek out allies, and her daily jogs can keep her in perfect shape for escaping from enemies.
WINNER: With all the explosions and shouting in the arena triggering her tinnitus, Kinsey can’t determine which noises are real and which are in her head—a distraction that proves deadly. Bourne takes the fallen Vish Puri’s sandown cap and uses it to take Kinsey down.
As a spy, James Bond can adapt to all situations: He can kill with ease and use almost any weapon. His only weaknesses seem to be that he can’t stop chasing after that geisha girl, and he’s running out of his handmade cigarettes.
Gabriel Allon will see Mr. Bond the title of “spy” and raise him “assassin” and “art restorer” (not that the latter seems to do him much good, at the moment). His linguistic skills enable him to communicate with nearly everyone in the Games to make allies. Give him a target, and he’ll hunt them down; when his own life is on the line, he’s even more committed to making it out alive.
WINNER: Although he’s not used to working without his team, Allon’s got the focus to get himself to Round Two. He has to laugh at Bond’s tendency to get distracted; while the secret agent is trying to charm Stephanie Plum, Allon takes him out.
Steph’s only here because finances are perilously low and she needs to make enough money to keep her hamster Rex fed. (Also, she wouldn’t dare ask Ranger or Morelli for help.) But she’s survived the ‘Burg’s crankiest residents, some truly evil hitmen, and the Evil Eye. She’s got this.
Though he’s entering the arena without any training in law enforcement, Easy is sure his experience solving crimes on LA streets will come in handy. He’s hunted down serial killers, stopped corruption, and faced down femme fatales—outsmarting this plucky girl should be no problem.
WINNER: The fact that Stephanie is not a femme fatale comes in handy here: Easy is expecting some slinky, seductive siren, and this frizzy-haired Jersey girl is so not that. In fact, he bursts out laughing when he sees her in her Kevlar vest and goopy mascara. She hates shooting people, though, so instead she fires at the tracker jacker nest right above Easy’s head.
Robert Langdon is excellent at cracking codes, but he’s got a major disadvantage in the arena: He’s deadly boring, and no one wants to team up with him. He’s initially drawn to Hercule Poirot because they both love solving puzzles, but then he makes a rude comment about the Belgian’s mustache, ruining their chance at a potentially prosperous alliance.
WINNER: Langdon may be good at cracking codes, but Clarice takes tips from a high-functioning sociopath. One shot to the leg from her handy gun, and Langdon is down—unable to forage for food or seek shelter.
Though she’s a PI, Jade’s broken her fair share of laws. A game without rules seems right up her alley; her tough-as-nails attitude has her cracking her knuckles in preparation. Known for sometimes taking foolish risks, Jade trusts that she can make it out of this easy.
Kay may feel completely out of her element in this unfamiliar arena, but she won’t let her strange opponents see her ruffled. She really does wish, however, that she were in her lab. She’s great at figuring out who killed people—doing the killing herself, not so much.
WINNER: Kay’s seen some disturbing things in her lab, but Jade’s been working the South African streets for years. As always, she’s reluctant but willing to take on a dirty job. She injects Kay with a poison she snatched from the Cornucopia and quickly moves on.
Jack Reacher has extremely fast reflexes and a high level of aggression. This combined with his military training make him a formidable enemy. But he is also blessed with an impressive natural survival skill—the ability to know what time it is without a clock or a watch.
Hercule has a falling out with Robert Langdon after the two have a disagreement about Poirot’s impressive facial hair. He begins treking through the arena to find shelter and some clarity to properly use “the little grey cells” to win. But athleticism isn’t high on the list of this Belgian’s attributes; he’s soon exhausted, and becomes easy prey for Jack Reacher.
WINNER: Jack Reacher easily overtakes Hercule Poirot with his knowledge of physics and his physical prowess.
Lisbeth Salander: This chain-smoking anti-heroine is the last person you’d want to meet in a dark alley. Though she’s extremely intelligent and gifted with eidetic memory, her traumatic past prevents her from closely connecting with anyone. If she feels wronged, she’ll seek revenge.
Sherlock Holmes can deduce in the blink of an eye, but the anarchy of the Game with all of its parts and players does throw him off a bit. If he can find a quiet area and escape to his Mind Palace, he can suss out Lisbeth’s weaknesses and get this competition locked up.
WINNER: While Sherlock begins deducing, Lisbeth doesn’t waste any time. She pins him down and tattoos Elementary, my dear Watson on his chest. Sherlock can’t figure out how to purify the arena water before the infection sets in.