OK, this has been bugging me.
It's also why I've been reading a lot of detective novels lately, but even there....sometimes, no right now pretty much all the time, I want to read a book that starts at the beginning, moves on to the middle of the story, and then the end. Is that so hard?
A while ago it got fashionable to write a novel with several apparently unassociated story lines, and you would switch from one story to the next on a chapter by chapter basis. The first time I read this it was weird, but there was a certain excitement when the stories finally came together, but you know what? There's always at least one story line that you don't want to read, so then you're tempted to skip those chapters, or at least skim them, and then final pull together? It was kinda cool the first time, but then it wasn't. It was just predictable and you still had to wade through the storylines you don't like.
Then there is the clumsy hinting about the past, and flashbacks to it. I'm quitting reading one book that on a chapter by chapter basis, goes back and forth. Chapter 1 in the present with heavy handed hints about mistakes that happened in the past, chapter 2, slow painful build up to the past error....continue throughout the book.
Honestly, why is this so hard? Just tell a story. Introduce the story and characters, build some tension, resolution. Beginning, middle, end.