by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Read: June 23 – 29, 2017
Blurb: Mexican strongman Manuel Perrine slaughters rivals as effortlessly as he wears his trademark white linen suits. Detective Michael Bennett is the only U.S. official ever to succeed in putting him behind bars. But now Perrine is out and vows to kill Bennett and everyone dear to him.
Bennett and his ten adopted children are on a secluded California farm, guarded by the FBI’s witness protection program. When Perrine begins a campaign of assassinations across the country, the FBI asks Bennett to risk it all – his careers, his family, his own life – to fight Perrine’s war on America.
Review: This is the sixth book in the Michael Bennett series. I read the fifth installment, I Michael Bennett, back in April and was left with this huge cliffhanger – the Bennett’s being placed into the witness protection program. So I was anxious to get to this book sooner rather than later. I immediately ordered it off of Paperbackswap. So I was glad that it fit a recent callout for a Goodreads challenge I’m doing. It gave me a reason to pick it up.
And while this book wasn’t necessarily a bad book, it just could have been better. I think it’s mainly because Michael Bennett was out of his element. I wanted him on a case, working a homicide. And the parts where the farm and whatnot was described, just didn’t feel right for this series. It definitely picked up once Bennett was called into the thick of things with the investigation to find Perrine.
So I’m glad I finally got the resolution I was looking for after the fifth book. I’m not entirely convinced that it needed an entire book in and of itself, but hey, I’ll continue to read the Michael Bennett series, I still like his character a lot. And I’m anxious to see if him and Mary Catherine will finally stop denying the inevitable and just get together already!!
by James Patterson
Read: April 28 – May 2, 2017
Blurb: It’s the start of the Hollywood on the Hudson festival, and New York City is swept up in the glamour. At red carpet premiers, thousands of fans gather with the paparazzi to glimpse the world’s most famous faces. With this many celebrities in town, special task force NYPD Red is on high alert. Then a world-renowned producer is fatally poisoned, and top NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan must work with his new partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, to uncover the killer. Soon other horrifyingly spectacular crimes send all of New York into chaos – and put NYPD Red on the ropes. Now with the whole world watching, Zach and Kylie must race to stop a psychopath who has scripted his murderous finale down to the last explosive detail.
Review: This is the 1st book in the NYPD Red series …. as if I needed to start another series *eyeroll*. But I couldn’t resist, this one sounded really good and I wanted a quick and easy read. I actually really enjoyed this one.
As usual with any Patterson book, there was a lot going on in this one. It was a lot of fun to work the case with Zach and Kylie. I look forward to see how they develop as partners in the future books. I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series.
God Save the Child
by Robert B. Parker
Read: April 24-26, 2017
Source: Purchased used
Blurb: Appie Knoll is the kind of suburb where kids grow up right. But something is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he’s run away — until the comic strip ransom note arrives. It doesn’t take Spenser long to get the picture — an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends…friends like Vic Harroway, body builder. Mr. Muscle is Spenser’s only lead and he isn’t talking…except with his fists. But when push comes to shove, when a boy’s life is on the line, Spenser can speak that language too.
Review: This is the 2nd book in the Spenser series. I read the first book way back in 2009 and to be honest, looking back over my review, I wasn’t really impressed by it. It took me eight years to get to the second book in the series. Oops!? I picked this one up randomly the last time I went to my favorite used book store. It was a short book and it was cheap (all paperback books in this shop are $1 each and they have a huge selection of older books – see why it’s my favorite?)
Yeah, Spenser’s character is still brash and not what I would consider appealing. But he definitely has some moments in this one. There are quite a few eye-rolling moments as well. And oh my goodness, the over-the-top descriptions got on my nerves at times. I mean I don’t need a whole run down on every outfit he puts on throughout the entire book. Another issue is that the actual storyline was not that surprising. There was one part of it that I never really saw coming, but it wasn’t necessarily a big huge “aha!” moment. It was predictable…
But overall I enjoyed this one. It was a quick and easy read. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t horrible either. And I’m willing to read the third book in the future. So I’m glad that I finally got around to this one … eight years later, ha!
I, Michael Bennett
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Read: April 18-23, 2017
Source: Purchased new
Blurb: Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous crime lord who vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City – and to get revenge on Michael Bennett. To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine, on a vacation to his family’s cabin near Newburgh in upstate New York. But instead of finding the happy town he remembers from his youth, Bennett steps into an urban nightmare of warring gangs. Now Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. And when beautiful prosecutor Tara McLellan comes to Bennett’s aid, she endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine – even as a cunning, cold-blooded killer closes in on him…
Review: This is the 5th in the Michael Bennett series. It had been forever since I read the fourth book, so I went into this with not a lot of recollection of the characters. But that didn’t really matter, I fell right back into step with the Bennett and his gang.
As typical Patterson books go, this one is filled with short, easy chapters and multiple storylines (only two this time, thank goodness). My one complaint is that there’s really a big cliffhanger at the end. There’s no true resolution to the story (guess I’ve got to read book #6 now!).
As usual, this was a fun and fast read. Mr. Patterson doesn’t write the most literary works, but there usually a good time. This one doesn’t disappoint in that regard. And I am looking forward to revisiting Bennett in the near future… to figure out if he can get out of the mess he’s gotten himself into!
by Sara Paretsky
Read: March 1, 2017
Source: Publicist for review
Blurb: Sara Paretsky, one of the most legendary crime writers of all time, presents an exclusive and thrilling short story featuring beloved investigator V.I. Warshawski as a ten-year-old girl on her first investigation.
V.I. Warshawski developed her strength and sense of justice at a very early age. It’s 1966 and on the south side of Chicago racial tensions are at an all-time high. Dr. Martin Luther King is leading marches at Marquette Park and many in the neighborhood are very angry. With nothing but a bicycle, eighty-two cents in her pocket, and her Brownie camera hanging from her wrist, Victoria sneaks off to Marquette Park alone to protect her father Tony, a police officer who is patrolling the crowds. What begins as a small adventure and a quest to find her father and make sure he is safe turns into something far more dangerous. As the day goes on and the conflict at the park reaches a fever pitch Victoria realizes she must use her courage and ingenuity if she wants to keep herself and her family members out of harm’s way.
Review: Confession: I’ve never read any of the V.I. Warshawski books. So when I was sent the widget to this short story I thought it would be interesting to know about V.I.’s first case – from when she was just a child. I was very drawn to the fact that it was going to be set in 1966 with the racial tensions experienced in the 60s. It’s very timely when you think about what we have seen happen these past few years.
So I knew it was a short story, which isn’t normally my thing, but I figured it would be a quick and easy read to knock out. It was quick, but I had a little trouble following the story in places. Mainly I found myself re-reading entire passages because I had trouble keeping who was talking straight. I don’t know if it was because I was unfamiliar with the characters or my attention span at the time.
So overall I thought this was a fun and interesting introduction to V.I. Warshawski for me. It definitely left me eager to start this series sooner rather than later … and I already have the first book in the series on my shelf! So even if short stories aren’t your thing, I would definitely recommend giving this one a go.
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Read: Sept. 14-17, 2016
Blurb: Seedy and glamorous, seductive and outrageous, Las Vegas attracts people of all kinds – especially those with a secret to hide, or a life to escape. It’s the perfect place for Lester Olsen’s one-of-a-kind business. He treats gorgeous young women to five-star restaurants, lavish shows, and limo rides – and then he teaches them how to kill.
Private’s Jack Morgan has been hired to hunt down two men on a gleeful murder spree. Jack thinks there could be nothing more dangerous than two criminals with an insatiable hunger for violence. But when their paths of destruction lead Jack to Vegas, he’s drawn deep into the heart of a murder ring more ruthless than anything he could have imagined, masterminded by a diabolical genius.
Review: I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for a James Patterson book. They’re fast, easy, enjoyable reads. I can usually knock one out in a few days. And for the most part, I really like them.
This one though … well, I was disappointed. Reading through the blurb as I typed it out, I realized that it’s very misleading to what is actually in this book. The actually setting is more accurately Los Angeles. The Las Vegas/Lester Olsen storyline mentioned above is maybe 50 pages total in the entire book.
The actual blurb should have read more like this: Jack Morgan’s best friend is on trial for a brutal battery against his ex-girlfriend; he faces 10 years in prison if convicted. At the same time, someone has blown up Jack’s Lamborghini as well as other expensive cars in the area. Oh and there’s some foreign diplomats assaulting women and getting away with it because of their diplomatic immunity (the two I am assuming mentioned above as being “on a gleeful murder spree.” And oh yeah – there’s a crazy guy in Las Vegas training women to kill their obscenely rich elderly husbands.
I don’t know who wrote the actual blurb on the back of the book – but they sure didn’t read the book. What’s sad is that this book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what it was billed as and to me that made it very aggravating. I was expecting Private Vegas – I got Private Los Angeles.
by James Patterson & David Ellis
Read: Aug. 26-Aug. 30, 2016
Blurb: Everyone thinks Emma Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding a link between hundreds of unsolved cases – one of the death of her own sister – Emma has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.
Not even Emma’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, believe her claim that these dozens of deaths across the country are connected. That is, until Emma finds a piece of evidence Books can’t ignore. More fatalities are reported by the day – and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapon, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?
Review: James Patterson is always my go-to when I need a quick, easy read. And this one fits that bill perfectly. But this one is also extremely interesting! It sucked me in quickly. I really liked Emmy’s character. All she wanted was justice for her twin sister. I really admired her perseverance – even when everyone thought she was crazy.
This book has an ending that I never saw coming. It made the overall book that much more enjoyable. I really enjoy when books throw curve balls!
So overall this is another good James Patterson read. Fun, easy, enjoyable. Definitely recommended!