Procrastination and holding out on the reader

It's been entirely too long since I've actually posted a "real" blog. That goes for any progress in writing or really, anything of interest. I mean, the cat .gif and video are perfectly entertaining and still make me laugh every time... but the blog has been sparse as of late. I wish I could say it's been because I've been hard at work on school matters or at least getting some writing done. Such is not the case. :( I will give myself forty lashes for that, don't worry. While I could ramble on for a long time about how frustrated I am with 3 WIPs, I actually HAVE something in particular to talk about today...

I just finished Robert Ludlum's The Matarese Circle a couple nights ago (freaking finally!) and I noticed something that happens every once in a while in books. It's a device that always gets on my nerves as a reader... but not necessarily in a bad way. The device? Say the MC has some dialogue with someone who's finally bringing the plot threads and story together. It's a book-making moment. The identity of the villain is revealed. The place a hostage was taken. Something vitally important. And what does the author do? In Ludlum's case (I'm paraphrasing here). "Bray asked the identity of the man in the picture." / "She told him."

My reaction to these devices? Every single time, without fail: "WTF?!?!?! TELL ME!!!! I don't care if she told him. I'm the one that needs to know here! Hello! Faithfully been reading for like 500 pages!"

See, my problem is I'm pretty historically inaccurate at guessing the secret in any story. CSI? I think I've guessed right maybe 2 episodes out of hundreds. My track record with books isn't much better. Now, in The Matarese Circle's case I actually knew who was in the picture. But he'd done the same thing before in the book.

The thing is, this is a very valid plot device... one that never occurs to me when I'm writing. I'd keep typing on thinking, "Well, golly gee, I wish there was a way for my MC to know this piece of information, but then the audience will know too!"

I guess my question is this: If you write, have you ever thought of incorporating (or actually done it) this "holding out on the reader" thing. Or, if you read, what's your reaction to this type of thing? Does it make you frustrated? Or do you like it?

Oh, and do you know of any real name for this? It's not a cliffhanger. It's not misdirection. It's just... not telling. Anywho... I guess I should get back to studying now, though my motivation to do so is pitifully low. *trudges off*