I really enjoyed this latest Mike Bennett story from Patterson & Ledwidge. This is the second in the series after Step On a Crack. I think Patterson has hit on another winner with this series - close to the Alex Cross novels. This was a real page turner that only took a day or so to read. Looking forward to the next Bennett novel "Worst Case".
I love James Patterson, but the Alex Cross series has gone a little long and I have to wonder what is next for him, then this new series about Michael Bennett came up, Step on a Crack was the first in this series and I read it in one night, I could not put it down. This one did not dissapoint either and it left me wanting more. If you want a good thriller with turn and twists you would never expect then read this series.
New York City homicide detective Michael Bennett is assigned to a new case at the worst time. With his wife's death the responsibility to take her care of their 10 adopted children is huge enough and now they all fall ill with a terrible flu, vomiting all over their place. Now he is supposed to catch a killer who's pattern doesn't make sense and always strikes at high profile places.
He calls himself the Teacher and his pupils are those who flaunt things, wealth and beauty. The penalty for obnoxiousness is death and you'd better listen to him and don't forget your manners.
With the killer getting bolder and shooting a beautiful stewardess in broad daylight, leaving a hotel lounge full of witnesses the Teacher is identified and his wife and two daughters found dead in their home. Peeling layer after layer Bennett is finally able to uncover the killers pattern and does everything to protect the only next possible victim.
But Bennett hasn't done his investigations without forgetting his own manners which might just turn out to be a terrible mistake.
I actually really liked this book. For me it seems that co-writing with another writer makes Patterson's book more approachable for me than his other novels. Patterson readers know of Patterson own pattern of crazy psycho killers running through a town - therefore this book doesn't hold any surprises at all. But still the Ledwidge influence gave this book just a tad more than the old story usually offers.
Michael Bennett seems to be the average man struggling with his family issues and missing his wife. He's got personality as far as being a family father goes by mopping vomit off the floor and having some jelly on his sleeves. The cop side of him got a bit short. He actually isn't as striking as the books description does make him seem. The investigation part is just too short or better, it lacks the investigation at all. It seems more like the normal police procedure unravels the killer's identity and Michael's share is the big finale.
In the end I liked it and read through it fast. I wouldn't say I was vowed but actually enjoyed the family parts.
James Patterson's characters just come to life--I like the fact the chapters are short and to the point and by that I mean not just page after page of description that isn't neccessary. Michael Bennett lost his wife a year ago and now has 10 adopted children to raise with the help of a nanny and his priest grandfather--the flu is running rampant through the house and yet Michael is on the trial of another killer and it leads back to his family in one way or another. The airplane is so graphic you feel like you're there.
NYPD Detective Michael Bennett and his ten children are back in an intense, action packed thriller with Michael facing a grim reality. Raising his ten children as a single parent and cop is stressful enough, but as each child comes down with the flu, it appears Michael is burning the candle at both ends.
The story begins with a hostage negotiation that goes awry when the suspect is gunned down seemingly from out of nowhere. A woman blathering away on her cell phone is shoved into the path of an oncoming subway train. A salesclerk at a Ralph Lauren clothing boutique is murdered in cold blood in front of his coworker who is left alive. The maitre d at the 21 club is murdered in the middle of the afternoon during the lunch hour. An Air France stewardess is killed in front of her colleagues as she exits the elevator in her hotel. And there are more to come. The problem is Mike doesnt know who is behind the killings and time is running out.
He gets a break when he learns that the killer, who has dubbed himself The Teacher, has contacted the media and Mike begins to put the puzzle pieces together. Unfortunately, The Teacher doesnt appreciate Mikes interference and may have to alter his plans to teach Mike a lesson.
Im really enjoying this series on so many levels. The hero is a regular guy facing the challenges and struggles of life: stressful job and raising his family as a single father while mourning the death of his wife. He is portrayed as a regular guy and is very likeable. I feel great empathy for him and the aura of sadness around him, but he doesnt wallow in self-pity, which makes the reader like him more.
I also liked Mikes Irish nanny, Mary Catherine and his grandfather-turned-priest, Seamus. I am looking forward to future books to see if the chemistry between Mike and Mary Catherine turns into a romance.
The only problem I had with this story is the murder at the beginning of the story doesnt seem to be resolved. We are led to believe that the shot was not fired by one of the police officers so who did it?
Otherwise, if you are looking for a book that delivers a high suspense story that keeps the reader riveted to each page wondering where the next bullet will strike and filled with characters you can feel connected to, then look no further than Run For Your Life. Run, dont walk, to the book store and get this book. Your life doesnt depend on it, but you will be glad you did.