Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Worst Case by James Patterson

Well, after almost 2 weeks of reading, I've finally finished one of my three current books (hopefully I finish the other two soon, but we'll see about that). James Patterson is one of those writers that you can really read in one sitting if you try; his style of writing is very quick and easy, not too much to really think about. Worst Case is the third novel in Patterson's Michael Bennett Series, which follows Detective Bennett through the crime-ridden streets of New York. I can already say that I like this series better than his more well known Alex Cross series, because while they're written almost the exact same way (twists and turns every time you think the criminal is going to get caught), I know the layout of NYC much better than I do Washington DC, which is where the Cross series takes place. That being said, onto the review of Bennett's story.

The story opens up with a college freshman being kidnapped by a man who questions him on moral topics, such as the quality of life for the factory workers who manufactured his iPod, and is evidently angered by the teen's ignorance of the world's problems and his happy rich little life. He kills this teen, and after leading the police via telephone to his body, kidnaps another rich teen and repeats this process. It turns out, this man (I won't give names away just yet) is angered that these kids are growing up sheltered and supported by their incredibly wealthy parents, and gives them a life-or-death exam to see if they're morally worthy of inheriting their fortunes, and keeping their lives. Michael Bennett and his FBI partner Emily Parker must race the clock to save these teens' lives, and to prevent more kidnappings and 'exam's from taking place.

I enjoyed this book, and it definitely deserves the 7.5/10 I'm scoring it as. That being said, I'm getting a little tired of Patterson's predictability. I've read about half of the Cross series, and I find it amusing yet tiring that almost each novel has a new female partner being introduced as a potential love interest for the main character. Cross has had several, and while this is my first Bennett novel (and it is in fact the third in the series), he seems to attract his fair share of the opposite sex as well. Will these guys settle down, or do I just have to get used to women coming in, helping with the case, and then being killed off by the end of the novel? And no, I assure you that Emily Parker doesn't get killed off (yet). I certainly hope she sticks around for at least most of Tick Tock, the fourth book in this series, but with Patterson, the odds are definitely against her.

I like this book, but if you're looking for a standalone book that's not part of a series, I would look into Patterson's other works (The Postcard Killers and Private were both pretty good books); they seem a little less predictable than his Cross and Bennett series, anyway..

That's all for now, I'll hopefully finish A Tale of Two Cities or New York sometime soon. If not, look for a post by the end of next week anyway; I'll put one up for a book I've read within the past few months.

- Justin

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