Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett Series #1)

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Overview

THE FIRST BOOK IN JAMES PATTERSON'S #1 BESTSELLING MICHAEL BENNETT SERIES!

During a state funeral for a beloved former First Lady in New York City's largest cathedral, the unthinkable occurs. Armed men disguised as monks seize the church and seal themselves inside, along with more than one hundred of the most powerful people in America. The captives include world leaders, actors, TV stars, athletes, and politicians, and the kidnappers are armed...

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Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett Series #1)

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Overview

THE FIRST BOOK IN JAMES PATTERSON'S #1 BESTSELLING MICHAEL BENNETT SERIES!

During a state funeral for a beloved former First Lady in New York City's largest cathedral, the unthinkable occurs. Armed men disguised as monks seize the church and seal themselves inside, along with more than one hundred of the most powerful people in America. The captives include world leaders, actors, TV stars, athletes, and politicians, and the kidnappers are armed with enough C4 explosives to blow a crater in the middle of Manhattan.
NYPD officer Michael Bennett is pulled into the standoff as lead negotiator. Despite the escalating danger, Michael faces an even more terrifying crisis at home. His wife has been diagnosed with a devastating disease, and Michael faces the prospect of losing the love of his life and having to raise their ten children alone. With his own life teetering and the lives of thousands suddenly his responsibility, Michael struggles to diffuse the tense situation fast. Yet the kidnappers' moves are impossible to predict, and they block every attempt to break into the cathedralmost as if they are privy to their deliberations.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The unexpected death of a beloved former first lady draws the nation together in mourning. As the world's most powerful and famous people gather in Manhattan for her state funeral, an ingenious kidnapping plot is unfolding. Within hours, a solemn assembly will be transformed into a mass hostage situation. For NYPD detective Michael Bennett, this unprecedented crisis is complicated by a very personal tragedy: His wife, the mother of his ten children, has died. As he grapples with these twin cataclysms, he searches for some tenuous balance between grief and his professional responsibilities. A James Patterson ticking-time-bomb thriller.
Publishers Weekly
Pop a bowl of popcorn, settle into a comfy chair and you might finish this combination thriller and tearjerker before the popcorn. Bestseller Patterson (Cross) and Ledwidge (The Narrowback) spin a fantastic tale of an audacious mass kidnapping and the unlikely detective thrust into the primary role of negotiator, sleuth and hero. Michael Bennett, a senior NYPD homicide detective, has a wife dying of cancer and 10 adopted children of various ethnic origins. When St. Patrick's Cathedral, site of the celebrity-packed funeral of a former first lady, is seized by a dozen ruthless men, Bennett ends up as point man for the hastily assembled negotiating team. From then on, the tale requires the reader to go with the flow as Bennett alternates visits to his wife's hospital bedside, brief trips to check on how his kids are managing and tense dealings with the well-prepared kidnappers. Short on credibility on the crime front, long on sentimentality on the home front, this book would be a good candidate for adaptation as a one-hour TV movie. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Vicious types disguised as monks take over at the funeral of a former First Lady, held at a New York cathedral, and make threats about blowing up the celebrities (from politicians to actors) trapped inside. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Audio File
In these post-9/11 days, Ledwidge and Patterson's scenario seems all too credible. Narrators John Slattery and Reg Rogers create throughly believable hostages and hostage-takers, and are especially effective voicing the beleaguered cop, hijacker " Jack, " and the reptilian villain, " The Neat Man. " Occasional music and sound effects don't add much , but short, intense chapters make it impossible to stop listening to this well crafted story.
From the Publisher
In these post-9/11 days, Ledwidge and Patterson's scenario seems all too credible. Narrators John Slattery and Reg Rogers create throughly believable hostages and hostage-takers, and are especially effective voicing the beleaguered cop, hijacker "Jack", and the reptilian villain, "The Neat Man". Occasional music and sound effects don't add much , but short, intense chapters make it impossible to stop listening to this well crafted story.—Audio File
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455599783
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Series: Michael Bennett Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 24,047
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.00 (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

Step on a Crack


By James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2013 James Patterson Michael Ledwidge
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-9978-3



CHAPTER 1

I'LL TELL YOU THIS—even on the so-called mean streets of New York, where the only thing harder to get than a taxi in the rain is attention, we were managing to turn heads that grim, gray December afternoon.

If anything could tug at the coiled-steel heart-strings of the Big Apple's residents, I guess the sight of my mobilized Bennett clan—Chrissy, three; Shawna, four; Trent, five; twins Fiona and Bridget, seven; Eddie, eight; Ricky, nine; Jane, ten; Brian, eleven; and Juliana, twelve—all dressed in their Sunday best and walking in size order behind me, could do the trick.

I suppose I should have felt some privilege in being granted the knowledge that the milk of human kindness hasn't completely dried up in our jaded metropolis.

But at the time, the gentle nods and warm smiles we received from every McClaren stroller–pushing Yummie, construction worker, and hot dog vendor from the subway exit next to Bloomingdale's all the way to First Avenue were completely lost on me.

I had a lot on my mind.

The only New Yorker who didn't seem like he wanted to go on a cheek-pinching bender was the old man in the hospital gown who cupped his cigarette and wheeled his IV cart out of the way to let us into our destination—the main entrance of the terminal wing of the New York Hospital Cancer Center.

I guess he had a lot on his mind, too.

I don't know where New York Hospital recruits its staff for the terminal cancer wing, but my guess is somebody in Human Resources hacks into St. Peter's mainframe and swipes the saint list. The constancy of their compassion and the absolute decency with which they treated me and my family were truly awe-inspiring.

But as I passed forever-smiling Kevin at reception and angelic Sally Hitchens, the head of the Nursing Department, it took everything I had to raise my head and manage a weak nod back at them.

To say I wasn't feeling very social would have been putting it mildly.

"Oh, look, Tom," a middle-aged woman, clearly a visitor, said to her husband at the elevator. "A teacher brought some students in to sing Christmas carols. Isn't that so nice? Merry Christmas, children!"

We get that a lot. I'm of Irish American extraction, but my kids—all adopted—run the gamut. Trent and Shawna are African American; Ricky and Julia, Hispanic; and Jane is Korean. My youngest's favorite show is The Magic School Bus. When we brought home the DVD, she exclaimed, "Daddy, it's a show about our family!"

Give me a fuzzy red wig and I'm a six-foot-two, two-hundred-pound Ms. Frizzle. I certainly don't look like what I am—a senior detective with the NYPD Homicide Division, a troubleshooter, negotiator, whatever's needed by whoever needs it.

"Do you boys and girls know 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear'?" the woman who had latched on to us persisted. I was just about to sharply point out her ignorance when Brian, my oldest son, glanced at the smoke coming out of my ears and piped up.

"Oh, no, ma'am. I'm sorry. We don't. But we know 'Jingle Bells.'"

All the way up to dreaded Five, my ten kids sang "Jingle Bells" with gusto, and as we piled out of the elevator, I could see a happy tear in the woman's eye. She wasn't here on vacation either, I realized, and my son had salvaged the situation better than a United Nations diplomat, certainly better than I ever could have.

I wanted to kiss his forehead, but eleven-year-old boys have killed over less, so I just gave him a manly pat on the back as we turned down a silent, white corridor.

Chrissy, with her arm around Shawna, her "best little pal" as she calls her, was into the second verse of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as we passed the nurses' station. The little ones could have been life-size Precious Moments figurines in their dresses and pigtailed hair, thanks to the extreme makeover work of their older sisters, Juliana and Jane.

My kids are great. Amazing, really. Like everyone else lately, they had gone so far above and beyond that it was hard to believe sometimes.

I guess it just pissed me off that they had to.

At the end of the second hallway we turned, a woman, wearing a flowered dress over her ninety-pound frame and a Yankees cap over her hairless head, was sitting in a wheelchair at the open door of 513.

"MOM!" the kids yelled, and the thunder of twenty feet suddenly shattered the relative silence of the hospital hall.

CHAPTER 2

THERE WAS HARDLY enough of my wife left to get twenty arms around, but the kids managed it somehow. There were twenty-two arms when I got there. My wife was on morphine, codeine, and Percocet, but the only time I saw her completely pain- free was that first moment when we arrived, when she had all her ducklings pressed around her.

"Michael," Maeve whispered to me. "Thank you. Thank you. They look so wonderful."

"So do you," I whispered back. "You didn't get out of that bed by yourself again, did you?"

Every day when we came to see her, she was dressed for company, her intravenous pain pack hidden away, a smile on her face.

"If you didn't want glamour, Mr. Bennett," my wife said, fighting the weariness in her glazed eyes, "I guess you should have married someone else."

It was the morning of the previous New Year's Day when Maeve had complained about some stomach pain. We'd thought it was just some holiday indigestion, but when it hadn't gone away in two weeks, her doctor wanted to do a laparoscopy just to be on the safe side. They found growths on both ovaries, and the biopsy came back with the worst news of all. Malignant. A week later, a second biopsy of the lymph nodes they took out with her uterus reported even worse news. The cancer had spread, and it wasn't going to stop.

"Let me help you up this time, Maeve," I whispered as she started to push herself up out of the chair.

"You want to get seriously hurt?" she said, glaring at me. "Mr. Tough Guy Detective!"

Maeve fought for her life and dignity like a banshee. She took on cancer the way the outclassed Jake LaMotta took on Sugar Ray Robinson in the fifties, with an epic ferocity not to be believed.

She was a nurse herself and used every contact and every ounce of wisdom and experience she'd gained. She underwent so many chemo and radiation treatments, it put a life-threatening strain on her heart. But even after the radical attempts, after everything there was to be done had been done, the CAT scan revealed growing tumors in both lungs, her liver, and her pancreas.

A quote from LaMotta rang in my ears as I watched Maeve stand on her wobbling toothpick legs to prop herself up behind her wheelchair. "You never knocked me down, Ray," he supposedly said after Robinson TKO'd him. "You never knocked me down."

CHAPTER 3

MAEVE SAT DOWN on the bed and lifted a white chart from beside her.

"I got something for you, guys," she said softly. "Since it looks like I'm going to be stuck here in this ridiculous place for a while longer, I decided I needed to come up with a list of chores for you."

Some of the older kids groaned. "Mom!"

"I know, I know. Chores. Who needs them?" Maeve said. "But here's my thinking. If you all work together, you can keep the apartment running for me until I get back. Okay, team? Then here we go. Julia, you're on lifeguard duty for baths for the youngin's, and you're also responsible for getting them dressed in the morning.

"Brian, you're my cruise director, okay? Board games, video games, Duck, Duck, Goose. Anything you can think of that's not the TV. I need you to keep all the young men as occupied as possible.

"Jane, you're on homework patrol. Get the house genius, Eddie, to help you. Ricky, I hereby dub you the Bennett house personal lunch chef. Remember, peanut butter and jelly for everyone except Eddie and Shawna they get baloney.

"Let's see. Fiona and Bridget. Table setting and clearing. You could alternate, figure it out...."

"What about me?" Trent squeaked. "What's my job? I don't have a job yet."

"You're on shoe patrol, Trent Bennett," Maeve said. "All I ever hear from these complainers is 'Where's my shoes? Where's my shoes?' Your job is to gather up all ten pairs and get them next to everybody's bed. Don't forget your own."

"I won't," Trent said, nodding with five-year-old intensity.

"Shawna and Chrissy, I have a job for you girls, too."

"Yay," Chrissy said, and did a little ballerina twirl. She'd gotten the Barbie of Swan Lake DVD for her birthday a month before, and every emotion now came with an impromptu interpretive dance.

"You know Socky's dish in the kitchen?" Maeve said.

Socky was a fickle white-and-gray cat that Maeve had pulled out of the garbage alongside our West End Avenue apartment house. My wife obviously has a thing for the misfortunate and strays. The fact that she married me proved that a long time ago.

Shawna nodded solemnly. At four, she was the quietest and most obedient and easygoing of all my kids. Maeve and I used to laugh at the nature-versus-nurture debate. All ten of our kids came from the womb prepackaged with his or her own personality. A parent could enhance and certainly damage, but change? Make a quiet kid gabby or a social butterfly more cerebral? Uh-uh. Not gonna happen.

"Well, it's your job to make sure Socky always has water to drink in her dish. Oh, and listen up, gang," Maeve said, sliding down a little on the bed. At that point, just sitting too long in one spot hurt her.

"I want to go over a couple of other things before I forget. In this family, we always celebrate each other's birthdays. I don't care if you're four or fourteen, or forty and scattered around the world. We gotta stick by each other, okay? And meals—as long as you live under the same roof, you have at least one meal a day together. I don't care if it's a dreaded hot dog in front of the dastardly TV as long as you're all there. I'm always there for you, right? Well, you have to be like me even if I'm not there. You got me? Trent, are you listening?"

"Hot dogs in front of the TV," Trent said, grinning. "I love hot dogs and TV."

We all laughed.

"And I love you," Maeve said. I could see her eyelids beginning to droop. "You've made me so proud. You too, Michael, my brave detective."

Maeve was facing the grave with a dignity I was unaware human beings were capable of, and she was proud of us? Of me? What felt like an entire main of frigid water suddenly burst down the length of my spine. I wanted to start wailing, to put my fist through something—the window, the TV, the dirty lead skylight out in the lounge. Instead, I stepped forward through the crowd of my children, took off my wife's cap, and kissed her gently on the forehead.

"Okay, guys. Mom needs her rest," I said, fiercely struggling to keep the crack that was in my heart out of my voice. "Time to go. Let's move it, troop."

CHAPTER 4

IT WAS THREE FORTY-FIVE when the Neat Man stepped off Fifth Avenue, climbed stone stairs, and walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral.

He snorted at the good folk kneeling in heavy silence and prayer. Sure, he thought, the Big Guy upstairs had to be real impressed with all this piety coming from the nerve center of the modern world's Gomorrah.

A prim, dough-faced old gal had beaten him to the first seat in the pew beside the nearest confessional along the cathedral's south wall. What the hell kind of sins did she have to admit? he wondered, sitting down beside her. 'Forgive me, Father, I bought the cheap chocolate chips for the grandkids' cookies.

A fortyish priest with salon-trimmed hair showed up a minute later. Father Patrick Mackey did a poor job of hiding his double take when he spotted the Neat Man's icy smile.

It took a little longer for the baggy-necked old lady to get out of the pew than to make her confession. Then the Neat Man almost knocked her down as he slid in after her through the confessional door.

"Yes, my son," said the priest behind the screen.

"Northeast corner of Fifty-first and Madison," the Neat Man said. "Twenty minutes, Fodder. Be there, or else there will be consequences."

It was more like thirty minutes later when Father Mackey opened the passenger door of the Neat Man's idling van. He had exchanged his priest duds for a bright blue ski jacket and jeans. He pulled a cardboard tube from beneath the jacket's puffy folds.

"You got it!" the Neat Man said. "Well done, Fodder. You're a good assistant."

The priest nodded as he craned his neck back toward the church. "We should drive," he said.

Ten minutes later, they parked in an empty lot beside an abandoned heliport. Out through the windshield, the East River looked like a field of trampled mud stretching before them. The Neat Man stifled a joke as he popped the lid off the cylinder the priest had brought. You could practically taste the PCBs in the air, he thought.

The prints inside were old and cracked, yellowed at the edges like parchment. The Neat Man stopped his tracing finger at the center of the second print.

There it was! It wasn't just a rumor. It was real.

And he had it.

The final detail for his masterpiece.

"And no one knows you have these?" the Neat Man said.

"No one," the priest said, and chuckled.

"Doesn't the paranoia of the Church boggle the mind? The institution I work for is a puzzle palace."

The Neat Man clucked his tongue, unable to take his eyes off the architectural drawing. But finally, he lifted a silenced Colt Woodsman out from underneath the seat of the van. The double tap of the .22 was subtle to the ear, but it was as if a grenade had gone off inside Father Mackey's head. "Go straight to hell," the Neat Man said.

Then he did a frantic scan of his face in the rearview and threw his head back in horror. Specks of blood freckled his forehead above his right eye. It was only after he'd scoured the hateful spots with Wet-Naps and upended a bottle of rubbing alcohol onto his face that his breathing returned to normal.

Then the Neat Man whistled tunelessly as he rolled up the prints and put them back into their cylinder.

A masterpiece, he thought once again, in the making.

CHAPTER 5

THE KIDS WERE a blur of activity once we got back home that evening. From every room of our apartment, instead of television and electronic gunfire, came the satisfying sound of busy Bennetts.

Water splashed as Julia prepped Shawna and Chrissy's bath. Brian sat at the dining room table with a deck of cards, patiently teaching Trent and Eddie how to play twenty-one.

"Bam," I could hear Ricky, like an Emeril Mini-Me, say from the kitchen as he squeezed jelly onto each slice of Wonder bread. "Bam ... bam."

Jane had the flash cards out on the floor of her room and was preparing Fiona and Bridget for the 2014 SAT.

I didn't hear a complaint, a whine, or even a silly question out of anyone.

Add brilliant to the list of my wife's attributes. She must have known how much the kids were hurting, how disoriented and useless they felt, so she had given them something to do to fill that void, to feel useful.

I only wished I could come up with something to make myself feel the same way.

As most parents will tell you, bedtime is the roughest time of day. Everyone, not excluding parents, is tired and cranky, and restlessness can degrade quickly to frustration, yelling, threats, and punishments. I didn't know how Maeve did it every night—some magical, innate sense of measure and calm, I had assumed. It was one of the things that I was most worried about having to take on.

But by eight o'clock that night, from the sound coming out of the apartment, you would have thought we had all left on a Christmas vacation.

I almost expected to see the window open and bedsheets tied together when I went into the little girls' room but all I saw were Chrissy, Shawna, Fiona, and Bridget with their sheets tucked to their chins, and Julia closing an Olivia book.

"Good night, Chrissy," I said, kissing her on her forehead. "Much love from your dad."

I was heartened by my clutch Dad performance as I went on my rounds.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Step on a Crack by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge. Copyright © 2013 James Patterson Michael Ledwidge. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 415 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(146)

4 Star

(132)

3 Star

(83)

2 Star

(28)

1 Star

(26)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 418 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    suspenseful, touching drama

    Patterson keeps the reader engrossed and at times in tears as this story of a madman's seige runs parallel to the sadness of the main character's personal loss. The sinister kidnapper characters are believable even though the crime is unimaginable. The reader is kept wondering if there is any limit to the evil of the criminals.

    Interwoven in the fabric of the crime drama is the human story of the lead detective. Patterson causes the reader to feel the pains of the family crisis which the detective must endure while negotiating with the crimimals. The story is so touching it brings the reader to tears. I found the love expressed between the detective and his wife a true romance, though not the kind of sizzling, hot descriptions of sex one finds in so many novels today, but the tender love between two persons married for years and bound by memories and children.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes crime drama, and of course to anyone who likes Patterson. I read a lot of crime drama and mystery, and I found it the kind of book the reader doesn't want to put it down, or in the case of the audio book, doesn't want to turn it off.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Series

    I just finished this and it was a great read. There was a compelling mix of family and crime drama. From the warm, quirky, large family of Mike; to the sadistic, chilling calculation of the villains of the story. Lots of twists that kept me glued. The ending was both satisfying and sad. It leaves me looking forward to reading the next book and seeing what happens with the family, and of course, Mike's next big case.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Touching and Thrilling

    James Patterson does an excellent job of gripping the reader and keeping you turning the pages. But the characters and plot can be so heartwarming at times.... it's ingenious for Patterson to entwine a plot so warm with a murder mystery. Kept me turning the pages.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Patterson's Step on a Crack Will Blow You Away

    This book launches a new detective character from Patterson. Detective Michael Bennett starts off his tale receiving a phone call to go negotiate a hostage crisis. Bennett is the father of 10 adopted children. Bennett's wife falls victim to cancer leaving him to raise a multicultural family and somehow keep New York's criminal base at bay. <BR/>I'd highly recommend this book as it is quick paced, well written, packed with adventure, and full of the James Patterson goodness you can expect.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2008

    Step On A Crack Review

    Step On A Crack by James Patterson is an amazing, action-packed book. This book will keep readers busy for hours. This book is about Detective Michael Bennett, a father of ten adopted children, who has to save thirty-four billionaire, politician, and superstar hostages held by a mastermind hijacker. During troubled times, Detective Michael Bennett has to care for his sick wife, who has been fighting a terrible disease for many years, care for his ten heartbroken children, and try to peacefully negotiate with the mastermind hijacker.<BR/> The setting takes place in modern day New York City, one of the busiest cities in America. Detective Michael Bennett, who serves in the New York Police Department, is having a regular day until a phone call. He soon finds out that thirty-four people have been taken hostage during the First Lady¿s funeral. Now he has to negotiate with the mastermind hijacker and do this responsibly to not get anyone killed, especially the hostages.<BR/> The novel starts off when the First Lady is killed while having a celebratory dinner with her husband. During the funeral, many famous people attend the gloomy funeral. While the funeral is progressing, hijackers dressed as monks arrive with weapons and hijack the cathedral along with thirty-four superstars. As the situation becomes more uncontrollable the NYPD calls the top-notch detective Michael Bennett for help. As the story continues both the hostage situation and Michael Bennett¿s life unfolds.<BR/> Step On A Crack is by far one of the best books I have ever read. Since I¿m not much of a book person, books are not so interesting to me. This book in particular caught my attention and I read all of it. If I liked this book, I¿m sure other readers will like it too. The character in the books are awesome, the plot is super cool, and the action is like from a movie. For anyone like me, read this book because it is worth reading.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!

    I own the book and I read it in two weeks, it would of been much sooner but needed to attend my kids and sleep. When I read the book every chapter was so vivid in my mind I was actually visualizing what I read. Couldn't put it down can't wait to read the next two books!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bland hero + bad resolution = bad book!

    As I started to write this I was planning on giving it three stars and as I read through all the things that I didn't like about the novel I realized that three were too many stars. Patterson has often thrilled me with both the Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club series but this introduction to ridiculously bland Michael Bennett is too boring to care about. Where Alex Cross is interesting, Bennett's situation, not personality is interesting. The detective's abilities a crime solving are suspect sense this was solved by nothing more than a ludicrous whim and conjecture from an almost non-existent character. The there is the twist connection to the case which had little to no impact. Bennett's family, which should be ample ground for drama is anything but. Also, the inclusion of fictional celebrities that clearly have real world counterparts are on the nose where you can't help but think of them. Its lazy writing. Overall, there might be a good heist/caper story here but readers might've been better of seeing the story take place through the bad guys' eyes. I might read the next in the series because of Patterson's past reputation and it'll be such a quick read but this is not a good book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Highly Recommended

    An excellent, captivating, page-turner of a story recommended for anyone who loves thrillers - especially that take place in NYC. Looking forward to the rest of the Michael Bennett series by James Patterson. You gotta love Bennett!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    It was okay...

    This book was okay. I got it as an audiobook and it was my first audiobook. I just didn't like the story line. The death of his wife was truly sad and your heart just went out to him. I am glad I read the second book and recently the third because I would have missed out on some great books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    Exciting, but not Patterson's best!

    I enjoyed this book, but it seemed to drag on and on. I am a Patterson fan and love his Alex Cross series. Looking forward to reading Tic Toc...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Patterson is not at his Best!

    In general the story starts off with the death of Caroline Hopkins, a former First Lady and her funeral is attended by the cream of the crust, consisting of the most influential and wealthiest individuals at the Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Unfortunately, a group of men take them hostage and will do anything to meet their private objectives. I thought Mr. Patterson developed the hostage characters very well. He had a knack for dropping little traits about these characters until after awhile I found myself really caring about what will happen to these people.

    Enter Michael Bennett, a detective for NY Police Department, and he is forced into the role of negotiator. Meanwhile, his personal life is in turmoil. His beloved wife is terminally ill with cancer and he is left caring for their ten children. Ten Children? Yes that's correct 10 children! At this point I thought Patterson was strettttching the Brady Bunch a bit too much to enhance the devotion of this character, but I read on. As I read on I found that Patterson was able to weave Michael's love for his wife, Maeve, and their children into many sensitive, believable scenes. There was Michael dealing with the chaos at home, while at the same time dealing with the hostage situation. Still I couldn't connect to this super father and hero.

    STEP ON A CRACK by James Patterson is good read, but not a super read. The characters a little exciting but I had wished that there was a good dose of some thriller scenes. If you want an easy read then I recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    James Patterson's books....

    This was an interesting book. It held my interest and I read through it rather quickly. I have enjoyed reading several of his books and would recommend them to anyone.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Very suspenseful

    Like all of James Patterson's series, I find this just as entertaining as the others. With all those kids, there's got to be a little humor and definitely a lot of drama. Michael Bennett series keep me wanting more....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2013

    Highly recomment

    All Patterson books are fast, excellent reads. I especially like Michael Bennett. Need more of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2013

    Rosie

    The Michael Bennett series are some of the best books I have read. You must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Jacen

    Bbl

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Raith

    *jumps from roof to roof*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2012

    recommend

    Again Patterson is such a strong writer, so get the feelings of the characters

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Hmm

    I have enjoyed past work better

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Forgettable

    It took me a while to get through this book. I found the whole family scenes quite boring; I don't pick up suspense-thrillers to read about somebody's warm and fuzzy family. The plot would have delivered had the climax not fell so flat. Anybody could have thought of that ending. This was my first JP book, now I'm nervous about spending money for the rest...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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