by James Patterson
Read: July 15-19, 2009
Challenge: 2009 100+ Reading Challenge; 2009 RYOB
Yearly Count: 35
First Line: Easing through the marina’s sapphire-blue water at a leisurely three-knot clip, Captain Stephen Preston took a long pull off his Marlboro Red, casually flicking the ash into the cool island breeze.
The Dunne family is out on a summer vacation sailboat trip. For mother Katherine, this is a time to really re-connect with her three children, Carrie, Mark, and Ernie after really losing touch with them for the past four years after the loss of their father. Carrie and Mark, both older teenagers, want no part of this get-away, but they go along because their mother and Uncle Jake really want them to. Ten-year-old Ernie is still at an age where he doesn’t mind going. But what awaits the Dunne family out on the open water will surprise all of them. None of them are really ready for their boat to explode, leaving them stranded in the middle of the ocean with only a life raft and a little bit of water and crackers. But eventually they float over to a deserted island, where they will wait patiently for the Coast Guard to come get them – hopefully. What the Dunne’s don’t realize is that the Coast Guard fear the worst for them. They are unable to find their boat (or what’s left of it actually) and when they finally do come upon the wreckage, they call off the search, essentially declaring the Dunne family dead. But the Dunne’s are made of tougher stuff than that! When a bottle with a message from Ernie finds its way to land, the search for the Dunne’s is back on. But there is only one problem … there is someone out there that wants to make sure that the Dunne family doesn’t come back alive from that boating trip.
If I’m ever in a reading slump, I can almost always count on being able to pick up a James Patterson book and flying through it. This one was no exception. Although it took me a little longer than normal to read it, it wasn’t because it was not a good book. In fact, it was a really good book. I would have to say that out of all the James Patterson books that I have read to date, this one is really high up on my list of favorites. I guess after being so burned out and slightly disappointed in the Women’s Murder Club books this one was a real treat for me. It felt more like a normal Patterson book for me. I enjoyed the suspense. I actually felt for the characters. At one point in the book, while on the deserted island, Katherine has an unfortunate encounter with a rather large snake … I felt myself shuddering right along with Katherine while reading about the ordeal. I was glad to see Carrie pull out of her funk because of what she went through with her family. I felt relieved at the end because Peter really did end up getting what he deserved. The characters were just believable, which to me is an all-important part of any book. I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you haven’t picked it up, I really hope that you give it a try if you run across it somewhere – it’s that good of a book in my opinion.