The Jester

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Overview

You are about to begin the most thrilling James Patterson novel yet. Hugh De Luc returns from the Crusades to discover that his terrifying nightmare has just begun. Merciless killers have slain his young son, kidnapped his wife, Sophie, and destroyed his town in their search for a priceless relic from the Crucifixion. Hugh's quest to find Sophie is one of the most pulse-pounding adventures, mysteries, and unforgettable love stories in all of thriller fiction.

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The Jester

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Overview

You are about to begin the most thrilling James Patterson novel yet. Hugh De Luc returns from the Crusades to discover that his terrifying nightmare has just begun. Merciless killers have slain his young son, kidnapped his wife, Sophie, and destroyed his town in their search for a priceless relic from the Crucifixion. Hugh's quest to find Sophie is one of the most pulse-pounding adventures, mysteries, and unforgettable love stories in all of thriller fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A disillusioned warrior returning home from the Crusades discovers to his horror that the peaceful village he left has been ransacked and plundered, and his beloved wife is missing, abducted by knights in pursuit of a great treasure. To retrieve his mate, the warrior must infiltrate the enemy's castle. To do so, he dons the cap and bells of a jester. Once again, plot master James Patterson proves that a radical departure need not be a wrong turn. Readers will find plenty of Patterson's trademark suspense, in addition to a healthy dose of wit.
Publishers Weekly
From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring...unforgettable characters...Patterson's fans will ove this one.
Publishers Weekly
Just who is writing the coauthored Patterson novels makes for interesting water-cooler chat, but whether the majority of words are contributed by Patterson or Gross, this terrific new novel is prime Patterson all the way, another step in the author's application of his patented storytelling style to a multitude of genres-in this case, historicals. The title character is, when introduced in 1096, an unassuming innkeeper in a French village oppressed by the local nobleman. To earn his freedom, Hugh de Luc joins the Crusades for a torturous, bloody march toward Jerusalem that occupies the book's first third and ends with him escaping the madness around him by deserting back to France, in possession of some minor treasures-or so he thinks. Back home, he finds that his beloved wife has been taken captive by the odious nobleman, and his infant son slain. Seeking his wife and revenge, Hugh adopts the guise of a jester in order to enter to the nobleman's castle, where he begins to fall in love with a young noblewoman, and she with him. In time, Hugh finds his wife, only to experience tragedy, and learns that the nobleman is searching for him, as he is believed to have carried back from the Crusades the greatest holy relic of all. Returning to his village, which has been destroyed during the nobleman's hunt for him, Hugh persuades his townspeople, then surrounding towns, to rise up in revolt against the corrupt nobleman and his henchmen. From start to finish, this is supersmart popular fiction, slick yet stirring, packed with colorful details of medieval life, bursting with unforgettable characters and clever tropes and themes. Patterson's fans will adore this one. (Mar. 3) Forecast: More than any Patterson since Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, this book has the potential to expand the author's already huge fan base. Its tag line alone ("Every thousand years or so, a great adventure comes along...") will draw in browsers, as will a fabulous cover featuring a gold castle and the title in bold red; anyone who reads one page will be hooked. Expect this to hit #1 with ease. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Hugh De Luc, a French innkeeper, feels compelled to join a Crusade in order to win his freedom from his liege, Lord Baldwin. When his disillusionment with the Crusade is complete, he deserts his post and returns home, finding that his wife has been kidnapped and the infant son he never met killed. Hugh vows revenge and begins a journey that places him in the roles of jester, spy, lover, general, and noble. Throughout the saga a mysterious group of black knights terrorize the countryside, searching for a holy relic brought back from the Crusades. When Hugh finally discovers the relic, he begins a crusade of his own to rid France of its unfair customs and practices toward the poor. Patterson's story is rich with the history of 1098. He does not neglect the realities of dirt, disease, battle, death, blood, gore, or poverty, and the relentless description of the carnage of battle becomes almost tedious. Both readers (Cary Elwes for the abridged version; Neil Dickson for unabridged cassettes and CDs) have British accents, which seems odd for a book that takes place in France. Recommended for most libraries.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446613842
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 240 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Biography

James Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number established him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel—an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson's track record, it's obvious that he believes one good series deserves another…maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women's Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco—a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998's When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a "flock" of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers—including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan—and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Sam's Letters to Jennifer) and children's literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become "the king of the page-turners."

Good To Know

Patterson's Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas was inspired by a diary his wife kept that tracked the development of their toddler son.

Two of Patterson's Alex Cross mysteries (Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls) have been turned into films starring Morgan Freeman; in 2007, a weekly television series premiered, based on the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels.

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    1. Hometown:
      Palm Beach, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 22, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newburgh, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Jester


By James Patterson and Andrew Gross

Little Brown

Copyright © 2003 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0316602051


Prologue

WEARING A BROWN TWEED SUIT and his customary dark tortoiseshell sunglasses, Dr. Alberto Mazzini pushed through the crowd of loud and agitated reporters blocking the steps of the Musée d'Histoire in Boréée.

"Can you tell us about the artifact? Is it real? Is that why you're here?" a woman pressed, shoving a microphone marked CNN in his face. "Have tests been performed on the DNA?"

Dr. Mazzini was already annoyed. How had the press jackals been alerted? Nothing had even been confirmed about the find. He waved off the reporters and camera operators. "This way, Docteur," one of the museum aides instructed. "Please, come inside."

A tiny dark-haired woman in a black pantsuit was waiting for Mazzini inside. She looked to be in her mid-forties and appeared to almost curtsy in the presence of this prestigious guest.

"Thank you for coming. I am Renée Lacaze, the director of the museum. I tried to control the press, but . . ." she shrugged. "They smell a big story. It is as if we've found an atom bomb."

"If the artifact you've found turns out to be authentic," Mazzini replied flatly, "you will have found something far greater than a bomb."

As the national director of the Vatican Museum, Alberto Mazzini had lent the weight of his authority to everyimportant find of religious significance that had been unearthed over the past thirty years. The etched tablets presumed to be from the disciple John dug up in western Syria. The first Vericotte Bible. Both now rested among the Vatican treasures. He had also been involved in the investigation of every hoax, hundreds of them.

Renée Lacaze led Mazzini along the narrow fifteenth-century hall inlaid with heraldic tile.

"You say the relic was unearthed in a grave?" Mazzini asked.

"A shopping mall . . ." Lacaze smiled. "Even in downtown Borée, the construction goes night and day. The bulldozers dug up what must have once been a crypt. We would have completely missed it had not a couple of the sarcophagi split open."

Ms. Lacaze escorted her important guest into a small elevator and then up to the third floor. "The grave belonged to some long-forgotten duke who died in 1098. We did acid and photo-luminescence tests immediately. Its age looks right. At first we wondered, why would a precious relic from a thousand years earlier, and half the world away, be buried in an eleventh-century grave?"

"And what did you find?" Mazzini asked.

"It seems our duke actually went to fight in the Crusades. We know he sought after relics from the time of Christ." They finally arrived at her office. "I advise you to take a breath. You are about to behold something truly extraordinary."

The artifact lay on a plain white sheet on an examiner's table, as humble as such a precious thing could be. Mazzini finally removed his sunglasses. He didn't have to hold his breath. It was completely taken away. My God, this is an atom bomb!

"Look closely. There is an inscription on it."

The Vatican director bent over it. Yes, it could be. It had all the right markings. There was an inscription. In Latin. He squinted close to read. "Acre, Galilee . . ." He examined the artifact from end to end. The age fit. The markings. It also corresponded to descriptions in the Bible. Yet how did it come to be buried here? "All this, it does not really prove anything."

"That's true, of course." Renée Lacaze shrugged. "But Docteur . . . I am from here. My father is from the valley, my father's father, and his. There have been stories here for hundreds of years, long before this grave tumbled open. Stories every schoolchild in Borée was raised on. That this holy relic was here, in Borée, nine hundred years ago."

Mazzini had seen a hundred purported relics like this, but the tremendous power of this one gripped and unnerved him. A reverent force gave him the urge to kneel on the stone floor.

Finally, that's what he did - as if he were in the presence of Jesus Christ.

"I waited until your arrival to place a call to Cardinal Perrault in Paris," said Lacaze.

"Forget Perrault." Mazzini looked up, moistening his dry lips. "We are going to call the Pope."

Alberto Mazzini couldn't take his eyes off the incredible artifact on the plain white sheet. This was more than just the crowning moment of his career. It was a miracle.

"There's just one more thing," said Ms. Lacaze.

"What?" Mazzini mumbled. "What one more thing?"

"The local lore, it always said a precious relic was here. Just never that it belonged to a duke. But to a man of far more humble origins."

"What sort of lowborn man would come into such a prize? A priest? Perhaps a thief?"

"No." Renée Lacaze's brown eyes widened. "Actually, a jester."

Chapter One

Veille du Père, a village in southern France, 1096

The church bells were ringing.

Loud, quickening peals - echoing through town in the middle of the day.

Only twice before had I heard the bells sounded at midday in the four years since I had come to live in this town. Once, when word reached us that the King's son had died. And the second, when a raiding party from our lord's rival in Digne swept through town during the wars, leaving eight dead and burning almost every house to the ground.

What was going on?

I rushed to the second-floor window of the inn I looked after with my wife, Sophie. People were running into the square, still carrying their tools. "What's going on? Who needs help?" they shouted.

Then Antoine, who farmed a plot by the river, galloped over the bridge aboard his mule, pointing back toward the road. "They're coming! They're almost here!"

From the east, I heard the loudest chorus of voices, seemingly raised as one. I squinted through the trees and felt my jaw drop. "Jesus, I'm dreaming," I said to myself. A peddler with a cart was considered an event here. I blinked at the sight, not once but twice.

It was the greatest multitude I had ever seen! Jammed along the narrow road into town, stretching out as far as the eye could see.

"Sophie, come quick, now," I yelled. "You're not going to believe this."

My wife of three years hurried to the window, her yellow hair pinned up for the workday under a white cap. "Mother of God, Hugh . . ."

"It's an army," I muttered, barely able to believe my eyes. "The Army of the Crusade."



Excerpted from The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross Copyright © 2003 by James Patterson
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 224 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(128)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 225 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put it down!

    I could not put this book down once I started reading it. I didn't find any part of it slow, it was well written and it kept me wanting to read "just one more chapter". I even dreamt about the book after staying up late reading. While I do enjoy his 'stand alone' books more then his series... James Patterson doesn't fail to please me when I read his books.

    From a ordinary farmer, to the crusades, and then on to fight the greatest war ever seen between lords and their subjects.. Hugh is an absolutely loveable character. His men are loyal, and his love for Sophie -his wife, and his need to avenge her keeps the reader on their toes.

    Hugh De Luc is an ordinary inn keeper, little does he know that after he joins AND deserts the crusades that he coems back with the greatest prize in all of christendom. It takes him some time, and a couple of bloody fights to realize what it is. Once he does though, nothing can stop him, or his army of "simple" people on their march to the castles to take down the Dukes that have wronged them for so long. Along the way he finds some unexpected friends, one of whom he wants to hold forever..

    I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction ,or James Patterson. Even though Patterson doesn't typically right historical fiction he did a wondeful job. A+ ! :)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Taken back to the middle ages, wow, James Patterson

    I was taken aback with this book. I never thought of James Patterson writing a novel taking place in the middle ages. It was different and although it seemed strange (because of the author)it was an interesting book. I kept reading it because I am a real J. Patterson fan. His writing style is enough to keep the reader going. I also read his book "The Murder of King Tut" and was intrigued by it. I have read and studied a lot about ancient civilizations and this one seemed to follow with everything I had learned in the past.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2009

    What a mess

    Maybe this shouldn't count as a review as I am still struggling to finish this book.Not sure I'll finish it. I've loved all Paterson"s mysteries but this "historical" story just doesn't cut it. However, it does apply to current and past times that many wars are fought under the guise of religion. I am amazed at the high rating of many readers. Maybe I'll prod on am I missing something?

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Awesome

    One of my top five favorite books

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    Just about the worst book i've ever read. I don't say that to b

    Just about the worst book i've ever read. I don't say that to be malicious, but it just was. I've always remembered it because it was so poorly written. I can't recommend it.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Not Patterson's style

    Boring, epic tome about life in the middle ages. True Pattersonians may have issues with it like I did!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    Revised review..not a total mess afterall

    Because of the positive reviews on this book. I persisted in completing it. About 75 pages into it I became intrigued with the characters and the description of the middle ages. It has an outstanding bibliography on the period too. I still think the quick transition from modern times to the middle ages was confusing. Also, the fact that there was no wrap up in the modern age which started the book was disappointing. But overall it was a decent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing

    What a great read... I was interested, then scared, then touched... You feel so many different emotions throughout the book... I've read it twice already...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    AMAZING

    This by far is one of the best books I have ever read. Evn though it looks very long the chapters are very short and make it a quick read. It has a plot I have never read before and it constantly kept me on my toes. There are many connections to previous chapters and the characters were very relatable. I constantly was screaming while reading this book because the plot thickened in almost every chapter. I HIGHLY recommend this book to any reader who wants to read something new!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Lovedd it

    Best james patterson yet

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Good read

    fast moving with lots of blood and histroy. Don't forget the love thrown in for those that wantit.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Definitely Recommend

    Read James Patterson's books. They are all fantastic fiction reading materials. I can't say it any other way. He is an awesome writer and I love all of the books that I have read by him, old and new, alike. Read James Patterson's books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 2, 2012

    Great read. Loved this book.

    Great read. Loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Very well-written book, filled with action. The Jester was such

    Very well-written book, filled with action. The Jester was such a good
    book! I am a history fanatic, but you don't have to be to love this
    book. It was suspenseful, and full of surprises. Many of the characters
    were so well-described. I found myself feeling for the main characters,
    and really being able to relate to them. I feel like I learned so much
    about the Crusades just by reading this book. I could barely stop
    reading this book because I loved it so much! There are some scenes that
    are probably intended for mature audiences, but other than those few
    parts, its really an incredible, pulse-pounding story of a man who comes
    back from the Crusades to find his small town torn apart. There are so
    many parts in this book that make the reader happy for the characters,
    or feel bad for them. Throughout this book I learned a lot about the
    first Crusade...more than I would have thought from reading a 'fiction'
    book. Seriously, anyone who wants to read a historical fiction book that
    is full of suspense, read this one! The Jester is sure to not
    disappoint, and its story line is amazing itself. This book really
    explains to readers how the Crusades didn't just affect those who fought
    in them...they affected everyone. Truly an amazing book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Dark Cale

    *Picks up Mimi and throws her into a wall really hard*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Dimentio

    One part of his mind: YOU LOVE HER DONT YOU STOP HIM YOU STUIPED JESTER I THOUNGE U WER STER OF DEISONS!!!!!!!
    Other part of his mind: no she is on the counts side KILL HER KILL HER LET HER DIE
    One part(good part):b....but we love her we cant let this slid
    stop him
    Bad side:THINK OF OUR GOAL THINK OF ALLL WEVE ALL THOSE PEOPL WE KILLED
    dimentio:*mimi vaishs and dementio swear *

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliantly written story about the crusades and a common mans j

    Brilliantly written story about the crusades and a common mans journey for freedom and what comes out of the journey. The story will touch your heart in so many ways as well as shedding light on the brutalities and injustices of how the world was so long ago. The trails Hugh endures developes the incrediable leader role he thrust into while finally bringing his lifes journey full circle. This story will make you sad, happy, cheer and be outraged and will tug at so many emotions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Exciting!

    Enjoyed this book completely!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Pleasantly surprised

    I dont really get into story lines like this one but once I got a few chapters in I was hooked. Very interesting and passionate storyline. Recommend.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Loved this book!!

    I've had the hardcover of this book. I've read it about a dozen times over the years. I like James Patterson's mystery books but would love some more historicals.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 225 Customer Reviews

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