“Plot generates its cousin, suspense. It is suspense that keeps you reading and wanting to know what is going to happen.
What creates suspense is a threat. There must be a prospect of something really bad happening unless… unless the crime is solved, unless something intervenes between the villain and his or her intention. This is what gives your sleuth a solid motive for pursuing the matter, and you need that motivation.”
Ruth Cavin, in Writing Mysteries on the mystery novel from an editor’s point of view
She also says;
”If the characters are believable, the background and atmosphere real and interesting, and the writing smooth and accurate, I’m not going to worry too much about plot problems unless the basic premise is irretrievably flawed… it can be fixed.”