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3.7 131
by Andrew Gross, James Patterson

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The danger isn't in the water.

Working as a lifeguard at a Florida resort, Ned Kelly meets a woman he is wild about, the woman of his dreams. It feels perfect in every way - except that she is used to caviar and Manolo Blahniks, and he is used to burgers and flip-flops. She is a guest at the luxurious hotel - he lives above a garage.

So when


The danger isn't in the water.

Working as a lifeguard at a Florida resort, Ned Kelly meets a woman he is wild about, the woman of his dreams. It feels perfect in every way - except that she is used to caviar and Manolo Blahniks, and he is used to burgers and flip-flops. She is a guest at the luxurious hotel - he lives above a garage.

So when Ned's cousin offers to cut him in on a rich deal he's been commissioned to execute, Ned can't turn him down. The plan is simple, just a fast break-and-enter. The risk is high, and the reward is even greater--$5 million. But on the night of the heist, something goes devastatingly wrong. Who will save the lifeguard?

Ned walks away from his job, his town, and the woman he's fallen in love with. Runs away, actually, knowing that only velocity and secrecy can save his life. But who is pursuing him? The FBI? Whoever sabotaged the heist? Or is it all somehow tied into his new love - and his oldest enemies?

Editorial Reviews

For lifeguard Nick Kelley, things are almost too perfect. He spends his days eying bikini blondes at a posh Florida resort and shares his nights with Tess, his gorgeous girlfriend. To make matters even better, his buddies have offered to cut him a seemingly risk-free role in a painting heist that will make them all millionaires. Then bang, bang, bang, it all explodes: Tess is brutally murdered and all his co-conspirators are massacred, leaving guess who as the leading suspect? Once again, the indefatigable James Patterson delivers.
Publishers Weekly
Campbell brings a strong presence as narrator to this latest thriller from collaborators Patterson and Gross. Part-time lifeguard/beach bum Ned Kelly meets the woman of his dream-rich and sexy Tess McAuliffe-and thanks to some old childhood friends, he has an opportunity to earn an easy, albeit illegal, $5 million by creating several diversions around town while his friends steal a fortune in art work. When the art disappears and his friends are murdered, Ned finds himself on the run as the FBI's number one suspect in the killings. The authors keep the story moving quickly, providing plenty of twists, turns and close escapes, but little logic or believability. Campbell does a fine job, handling himself with serious aplomb. He shifts easily from third-person narrative to Ned's reflective first-person perspective, and gives each of the supporting characters their own, distinctive voice. His performance rises above the overly melodramatic material. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, May 16). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Being a lifeguard in Palm Beach, FL, definitely has its perks. Ned Kelly, recently of Boston, lives rent-free in a fantastic home, gets to drive a nice car, and has fallen hard for a beautiful woman who resides in a luxury hotel suite. Ned's idyllic life comes to a sudden end when four of his friends are murdered during an art robbery and the woman is brutally slain in her hotel room. Ned is on the run-from the police, the FBI, and from people who seem determined to kill him. The only people who believe him are an FBI art theft investigator, an old New Zealand buddy, and the rich man who owns the house where Ned lives. Patterson and Gross have come up with an enjoyable thriller, and Billy Campbell is skilled in his presentation of the unique plotting, well-developed characters, and fast-paced action. This will definitely be a hot item in all audio collections.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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2 MB

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Read an Excerpt


By James Patterson Andrew Gross

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2005 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-05785-1

Chapter One

"DON'T MOVE," I said to Tess, sweaty and out of breath. "Don't even blink. If you so much as breathe, I know I'm gonna wake up, and I'll be back lugging chaise longues at poolside, staring at this gorgeous girl that I know something incredible could happen with. This will all have been a dream."

Tess McAuliffe smiled, and in those deep blue eyes I saw what I found so irresistible about her. It wasn't just that she was the proverbial ten and a half. She was more than beautiful. She was lean and athletic with thick auburn hair plaited into a long French braid, and a laugh that made you want to laugh, too. We liked the same movies, Memento, The Royal Tenenbaums, Casablanca. We pretty much laughed at the same jokes. Since I'd met her I'd been unable to think about anything else.

Sympathy appeared in Tess's eyes. "Sorry about the fantasy, Ned, but we'll have to take that chance. You're crushing my arm."

She pushed me, and I rolled onto my back. The sleek cotton sheets in her fancy hotel suite were tousled and wet. My jeans, her leopard-print sarong, and a black bikini bottom were somewhere on the floor. Only half an hour earlier, we had been sitting across from each other at Palm Beach's tony Café Boulud, picking at DB burgers-$30 apiece-ground sirloin stuffed with foie gras and truffles.

At some point her leg brushed against mine. We just made it to the bed.

"Aahhh," Tess sighed, rolling up onto her elbow, "that feels better." Three gold Cartier bracelets jangled loosely on her wrist. "And look who's still here."

I took a breath. I patted the sheets around me. I slapped at my chest and legs, as if to make sure. "Yeah," I said, grinning.

The afternoon sun slanted across the Bogart Suite at the Brazilian Court hotel, a place I could barely have afforded a drink at, forget about the two lavishly appointed rooms overlooking the courtyard that Tess had rented for the past two months.

"I hope you know, Ned, this sort of thing doesn't happen very often," Tess said, a little embarrassed, her chin resting on my chest.

"What sort of thing is that?" I stared into those blue eyes of hers.

"Oh, whatever could I mean? Agreeing to meet someone I'd seen just twice on the beach, for lunch. Coming here with him in the middle of the day."

"Oh, that ..." I shrugged. "Seems to happen to me at least once a week."

"It does, huh?" She dug her chin sharply into my ribs.

We kissed, and I felt something between us begin to rise again. The sweat was warm on Tess's breasts, and delicious, and my palm traveled up her long, smooth legs and over her bottom. Something magical was happening here. I couldn't stop touching Tess. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to feel this way.

Split aces, they call it, back where I'm from. South of Boston, Brockton actually. Taking a doubleheader from the Yankees. Finding a forgotten hundred-dollar bill in an old pair of jeans. Hitting the lottery.

The perfect score.

"You're smiling." Tess looked at me, propped up on an elbow. "Want to let me in on it?"

"It's nothing. Just being here with you. You know what they say: for a while now, the only luck I've had has been bad luck."

Tess rocked her hips ever so slightly, and as if we had done this countless times, I found myself smoothly inside her again. I just stared into those baby blues for a second, in this posh suite, in the middle of the day, with this incredible woman who only a few days before hadn't been conceivable in my life.

"Well, congratulations, Ned Kelly." Tess put a finger to my lips. "I think your luck's beginning to change."


Excerpted from Lifeguard by James Patterson Andrew Gross Copyright © 2005 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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 300 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. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Brief Biography

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

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Lifeguard 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 130 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book and i love it to the exsremes.:) <3
Sherri_Hunter More than 1 year ago
I love Patterson. Even when his books aren&rsquo;t his usual nail-biting, edge of my seat, have no food in the house or clean underwear because I&rsquo;m ignoring my domestic chores books. Sadly, Lifeguard is one of those books. It was just OK for me. Ned Kelly is a likeable character and I felt a lot of empathy for him and what he goes through in this story. Unfortunately, Ned doesn&rsquo;t seem capable of making smart choices. Not when he falls in love, not when he agrees to help his cousin with a burglary, not when he goes on the run, not when he kidnaps an FBI agent, and not when he nearly gets himself killed on more than one occasion. I was very disappointed with the FBI agent, Ellie. She came across as a little flaky at times, though she could be quite tenacious at times. Her area of expertise is stolen and forged artwork but she jumps into a murder investigation with both feet, despite repeated admonitions from her supervisor to stay out of it. What I didn&rsquo;t find believable is how she willingly went with Ned when he kidnaps her and then is helping him until he lets her go. OK, so she isn&rsquo;t trained in violent crimes, but she is still an FBI agent, so why wasn&rsquo;t she putting up a tiny bit of resistance? Thrown into this story are a lot of supporting characters that I had a very hard time keeping track of and how relevant they were to the story. So, instead of the heart-pumping suspense I have come to anticipate and expect when I pick up a Patterson book, I got a mostly mediocre story that is just OK. If you are looking for depth and substance when you pick up a book, give this one a pass. If you are looking for a fluff mystery to read on the beach or during your lunch break, this will fit the bill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good! i would let people know about it, but i would not rave about it. I have in the past raved about patterson's books, because he is a great author and would tell anyone that likes suspense to read him. I did like this book, but did not love it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Curls up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books you can't wait to finish, but don't want to finish at the same time.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If this was written by two authors, I don't think they proofed each other's writing. For an example; Ellie was described as having short hair and then she, "puts it up in a ponytail"? Hard to believe story.
swlittlewing More than 1 year ago
I am a new fan of James Patterson and have read 5 books in 3 weeks!
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Ella Soshnick More than 1 year ago
The book wasn't the best at the same wasn't the worst. The way James Patterson ad to explain all the sex was the worst part.
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TheBookResortNY More than 1 year ago
As someone who was Patterson's biggest Alex Cross fan, it saddens me that Patterson's books are chart-toppers because of the Patterson brand. I still read the Cross series - I guess, considering the last Cross read was, Cat & Mouse. I just can't wait for the Patterson I was introduced to when I was in my teens, to stand up & take his place on the bestsellers list for quality not quantity. Sadly, I believe he may have been a 3 book wonder. Anyway, I pushed myself through it because I am a fan of the gifted Mr. Gross & it was painfully obvious (to me) which segments were penned by the fervent Mr. Gross. FYI: Gross is w/o a doubt HERE TO STAY!!! I am hoping Patterson will emerge again in this century, but I am not going to hold my breath.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I've read a few too many of these and they're getting a bit predictable, but I just wasn't impressed. The story breezed along at a brisk pace with a couple of surprising twists, but there was too little logic, not enough believability, and virtually no character development. LIFEGUARD is typical of recent Patterson collaborations. Lately, I find myself wanting a little more, even if it is just a beach read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago