Tag Archives: James Patterson

Book Review of “Worst Case” By James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Worst Case

By James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

A stupendous work of a seasoned author.

Detective Michael Bennett (NYPD) and FBI agent Emily Parker (abduction case specialist) team up to track a serial killer in this gripping bestseller.

A quick and easy read, decked with giggles and light-hearted fun in mini-chapters.
A run through Bennett’s life – a widower with ten (!!!) foster children; their beautiful nanny who ends up having a crush on Bennett; plenty of exciting action in tracing the villain and cracking the case of missing teenagers; mushy romance with partner Emily Parker ending on a smart and riveting note makes the book a good read. 

The tome exudes loads of suspense, tension and fast paced excitement.

I’d recommend this one.

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Book Review of “The 9th Judgment” By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The 9th Judgment

By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Well, this one is a fast paced entertainer. It delivers a generous dose of mystery, shock, awe, suspense and excitement – till the last page. Patterson and Paetro’s lethal combination (of writing and visualizing skills) surely captivates attention and definitely all nerves!

The story shows Detective Lindsey Boxer and her partner, Rich Conklin, working on two cases – a female cat burglar (Hello Kitty) robbing the city’s celebrities of their jewels; and a sadist, ruthless, psycho, serial killer (Lipstick Killer) targeting mothers and their children and callously killing both.

The characterization of Claire, Cindy, and Yuki are well rounded and realistic. They come across as the smart, brave, sometimes arrogant, yet vulnerable lot.

Certain sections of the story seemed predictable, since Patterson has a peculiar style of depicting mysteries.

But the climax of the two contrasting cases comes loaded with an ironic twist.

The gripping tale and acute detailing of events and the horrendous crime shuns its readers from putting it down until the very last word.

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Book Review of “The 8th Confession” By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The 8th Confession

By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

A wee bit slow paced with no mind games for the reader. The redundant presentation is now getting over the top. It is just an enjoyable murder mystery with Patterson’s knack of etching intriguing antagonists.

The story is about a series of, what appear to be, un-connected murders with no clues whatsoever, beginning with the explosion of a school bus/ meth lab on the streets of San Francisco.

Reporter Cindy Thomas, Detective Lindsay Boxer, assistant district attorney Yuki Castellano, and medical examiner Claire Washburn get ready to solve the mysteries while juggling their private lives simultaneously.

A good measure of fervent romance steams up the storyline without deviating much from the plot.

It is a page turner, no doubt, to a certain extent but does not build up any suspense. The climax seems a tad disappointing with the sudden revelation of the culprit – something not expected by the readers.

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Book Review of “Honeymoon” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

I seem to be a bit baffled by this “thriller” of sorts. A black widow, Nora Sinclair, is a young, bright and deadly lady, who seems to be every man’s desire – but ends up being the worst nightmare a man could face. Thanks to her skewed psych.

She is a rich interior decorator mingling with the crème de la crème of the city. Her association with the rich and famous men is short lived – as she ends up plotting their murder after having married them. Having killed two already and planning the death of the third man of her life, she comes under the FBIs radar as the prime suspect. John O’Hara, an FBI agent gets on her trail only to find himself captivated by her charm. In the battle of wits and intelligence, only the best one wins.

“Things aren’t always the way they appear” O’Hara’s father warns him and as the plot unfolds the statement seems more and more powerful. In not the right way though.

But the characters seemed a bit icky and complex. It didn’t seem like any of Patterson’s previous work.

Co-authored by Howard Roughan, the chapters are small and easy to flip through. But many details, I feel, were left out. Like Nora’s mother, who is locked away in an asylum, never ends up revealing the reason for killing her husband. The suspense just remains. The ending is as abrupt as its simple beginning. I did not enjoy it at all.

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Book Review of “The Beach House” by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge

The Beach House

By James Patterson and Peter de Jonge

A good paced legal thriller.

Jack is a law student at the Columbia University. He is shocked to hear the news of his brother’s death by drowning. Cops claim it is because of drug overdose and eventual drowning. But truth be told – he is murdered. Peter’s body was found on the Amagansett estate of the famous and wealthy Neubauer family. When Jack sees the body he is convinced it is not a normal death. There are some marks on his body that confirm his belief.

Jack starts his own investigation and turns on the heat on the local cops as well as the Neubauer family. Soon he has a thug on his trail threatening and frightening him.

Jack’s girlfriend too walks out on him. His father dies. He loses his internship. But he still believes justice will be served. And his grandfather supports him all the way.

But the people with money controlling the power seem to have a highly treacherous and deadly secret to hide. And they would do anything to keep it under wraps. And they buy the lawyers, doctors, friends and cops – anyone and everyone who has a price. Lies, deceit, revenge, money, mayhem engulf the victim and everyone around him.

Lots of twists and surprises make this an engrossing read.  JP and Peter de Jonge deliver another fast-paced thrilling page-turner.

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Book Review of “2nd Chance” By James Patterson with Andrew Gross

2nd Chance

By James Patterson with Andrew Gross

 

2nd Chance is a fast-paced thriller by the master of thrillers – James Patterson.

A sequel to 1ST TO DIE, this one definitely is a potboiler.

This Women’s Murder Club series gets more and more gripping with each offering it seems.

For those who don’t remember (or don’t know) The Women’s Murder Club consists of Lt. Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department, reporter Cindy Thomas, assistant D. A. Jill Bernhardt, and medical examiner Claire Washburn. This highly-motivated women’s group solves the ghastly crimes of San Francisco.

This time the action tends to revolve around Boxer.

She is taking a break after resolving a case (from the previous book) and undergoing a personal tragedy. Her vacation is interrupted by the news of an eleven year old girl being shot, in a mad shooting spree in a local church, in downtown San Francisco. And she has to rush back.

With tremendous political pressure all around, (since it appears to be some sort of racially motivated killing) Boxer turns to her Women’s Murder Club to seek help. Things change hereafter.

The killer seems to have a much deeper motive. But the women have no clue except a symbol – “Chimera” representing the lowest criminal element within the state’s prison system.

Tracing back to a previous “suicide” case – where an African American woman hung herself, the presence of a “chimera” seems to be their clue. This woman was the widow of a former police officer of the San Francisco police department and in the new case, the uncle of the young girl was a cop too.

It is further revealed that Boxer’s dad, an ex-cop, is linked to the killer’s past and he re-appears after having deserted his family for about 20 years. Soon the women of the murder club become the next target.

This book has ample focus on the individual lives of the women in the club. You begin to love and care for them. Boxer’s past that disturbed her deeply is brought to light. It is good to know the female POV on the crimes – lending it an emotional touch.

I particularly liked the fact that in this book more light was shed on the personal lives of the murder club women making us care for them, and allowing us to relate to them as individuals who, in spite of their smartness, are as vulnerable as anybody else.

Lindsay’s personal story is highlighted by her having to come face to face with her dreaded past. A seamless interaction is exhibited between her past and the present through her father. She continues to face her share of life threatening moments and has her loved ones by her side to rely on.

The characterization is realistic and strong. The plot is tight. The dialogues are sparkly. The chapters are short. The mystery is gripping. A spray of false leads and twists and weird clues make this a page-turner.

Again, JP’s signature style of writing – short sentences and short chapters, with different POVs, make this a fast paced and an easy read. Co-authored with Andrew Gross, the story does dip in some places. But yes, I overlooked those.

Patterson’s Alex Cross series and The Women’s Murder Club series (mostly) deliver what they promise – a good chilling thrill. It keeps you on the guessing (almost) to the very end. The series is addictive. Somewhat like the Alex Cross series.

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Book Review of “Cross Country” By James Patterson

Cross Country

By James Patterson

 

A thriller by James Patterson featuring the forensic detective Alex Cross.

 

The plot revolves around the cold-blooded murder of Ellie Cox (Alex’s friend / first real love) and her family by a criminal known as “Tiger”. Many people are brutally murdered by this horrendous person and Cross takes it upon him to catch “Tiger” and deliver justice to Ellie and others murdered by him. His quest lands him in Africa.

The grim reality of this new country though depicted well (to a certain extent) is very graphic in nature. The corrupt government officials in Nigeria arrest, jail and torture Alex for three days before the CIA can come to his rescue. He witnesses some of the most horrible situations and conditions of the people of Africa, far beyond anyone’s imagination. The dire situation in Darfur and the diamond mines of Sierra Leone are boldly portrayed by the author.

Though Alex comes across as smart detective in most of his books, in this one it feels like he walks into lame situations without giving it any thought. How did he simply fly over to Africa tracing a murderer without any political or government assistance?! Why does he end up landing his family into trouble and pain?

The gruesome murders, the contrived situations, and a loose and somewhat complicated plot did not satisfy me as a reader.

Patterson’s short chapters ending with a cliffhanger made it easier to finish the book but the poor action did not keep me engrossed like before.

 

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Book Review of “The Lifeguard” By James Patterson and Andrew Gross

Lifeguard

By James Patterson and Andrew Gross

 

Let the name not fool you. This one does not have a straight-up “beachy” plot, but none-less-less good action.

This new thriller is filled with suspense and high tension “who-dunnit” guesses.
So we have Ned Kelly, a college graduate turned lifeguard/pool boy/handy man sorta guy at the Palm Beach. His father Frank Kelly is a small time criminal. And so are his friends Mickey, Bobby, Dee, and Barney.
Ned falls in love with a rich and beautiful “out of his league” girl Tess McAuliffe. He wants to give up his rotten ways to settle down with her.
His friends coax him to join them in one last heist, worth millions, so as to live a comfortable life with Tess.
It is supposed to be an easy job. All Ned has to do is trigger out several house alarms, as a distraction, while his friends steal the multi-million dollar worth art pieces from the mansion of Dennis Stratton.
But thins do not go as planned. The art pieces are not where they were supposed to be. They are double-crossed. All four end up being murdered. And Tess too. It seems like someone has framed Ned.
Ned flees to Boston, escaping the clutches of the cops, some criminals and of course the mastermind of the heist (Dr. Gachet).
Ned is soon caught by FBI agent, Ellie Shurtleff. But soon she too is almost convinced of his innocence and together they set out to nab the real criminals.

Though this one is quite fast paced and full of suspense, it does lack depth at some places. Ned seems to be forever sulking (initially). I wish there was more of Champs (the Aussie guy). There were some really silly instances portrayed (taking off car plates; trying to rob million dollar worth stuff with no artillery; etc).
The plot is decent, not an extra ordinary surprise ending. Lot many characters sometimes spoil the structure – but thankfully JP has managed to hold it, albeit missing the usual wit/humor. I don’t like JP co-authoring books. They tend to burn out soon.
Overall this one is worth a read.

 

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Book Review of “Sam’s Letters to Jennifer” By James Patterson

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer

By James Patterson

 

*Spoiler Alert*

I do like some emotion stirring read, sometimes. But this one felt like an over-doze!

I don’t know if I should be doing this – but Sam in this case – is Samantha – Jennifer’s grandma.

The story begins with Jennifer moving back to her small town to take care of her grandmother who is injured in a fall and is now in coma. To give you a bit of Jennifer’s background – she loses her husband in an accident and undergoes a miscarriage too. Apart from her family, the only person Jennifer can count on and is close to, is her grandma – Sam.

So, as Jennifer is getting accustomed to her community life, she happens to come across Sam’s letters that reveal a part of Sam’s life which Jennifer never knew. The letters, addressed to Jennifer, were placed in her room in Sam’s house. In them, Sam discloses certain aspects of love that she wants Jennifer to experience and appreciate. The letters disclose the secret love life of Sam.

During this time, Jennifer also happens to reconnect with her childhood friend Brendan. And things move beyond friendship – as fated! But there is more to Brendan’s life that what meets the eye!

The novel comprises two love stories. It is fast-paced read; and quite a departure from Patterson’s regular mystery/thriller shockers but it does have suspense – almost right till the end.

The character of Jennifer is very relatable – one who has loved and lost and is scared to walk the same path again. Brendan is a free-spirited man with no inhibitions. And Sam who has found solace in accepting love in this “secret” sorta way.

This book shows an extremely emotional side of Patterson – an unexpected profile. There are quite a few heart-stirring moments that would appeal to the soft at heart – somehow I could relate to them only a wee bit.

I’d say it is a one-time read if you are the emotional sorta person. It focuses on love, relationships, family and faith. I think I like Alex Cross’ series more than emotional reads.

 

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Book Review of “I, Alex Cross” By James Patterson

I, Alex Cross

By James Patterson

 

A typical James Patterson, fact-paced, action novel – I, Alex Cross is a quick read with short chapters.

This suspense-mystery-thriller opens with Alex getting the news of his estranged niece’s gruesome murder. She is ground up in a wood chipper and found in a plastic garbage bag in the back of a car. She was a hooker involved with a sex club, and entertained rich and famous clients like judges, congressmen and highly affluent politicians. The investigation with intriguing twists and turns leads Alex to the White House and finally to the President’s husband.

And then there is the equally emotional sub-plot of Alex’s grandmother- Nana, bringing in a humane touch to the inhumane murders happening around. Nana falls ill land is rushed to the hospital. Alex now swings between finding his niece’s killer and being by his Nana’s side.

The highly engrossing mysterious plot is spiced with bad/raw language, sexual content, and violence. With a lot of action, drama and suspense with clear prose, the author paints a thrilling picture of terror. Alex’s character is very well balanced. Very humane, witty, and sharp. Patterson’s honest portrayal of relationships is heart-warming. His bold imagination show his knack of building up consistent suspense and thrill for the readers.

A highly captivating page-turner.

 

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