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Swimsuitby James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in
Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in
LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.
A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports listeners to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
James Patterson is king of the bestseller hill."Publishers Weekly"
Patterson has mastered the art of writing page-turning bestsellers."Chicago Sun-Times"
The Man Who Can't Miss."Lev Grossman, Time"
When it comes to construction a harrowing plot, author James Patterson can turn a screw all right."New York Daily News"
America's #1 storyteller."Forbes
- Little, Brown and Company
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- 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)
Read an Excerpt
By Patterson, James
Grand Central PublishingCopyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.
JUST THE FACTS
A true psychopathic killer is nothing like your everyday garden-variety murderer. Not like a holdup guy who panics and unloads his gun into a hapless liquor store clerk, or a man who bursts into his stockbroker’s office and blows his head off, and he’s not like a husband who strangles his wife over a real or imagined affair.
Psychopaths aren’t motivated by love or fear or rage or hatred. They don’t feel those emotions.
They don’t feel anything at all. Trust me on that one.
Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, BTK, and the other all-stars in the twisted-killer league were detached, driven by sexual pleasure and the thrill of the kill. If you thought you saw remorse in Ted Bundy’s eyes after he’d confessed to killing thirty young women, it was in your own mind, because what distinguishes psychopaths from all other killers is that they don’t care at all. Not about their victims’ lives. Not about their deaths.
But psychopaths can pretend to care. They mimic human emotion to pass among us and to lure their prey. Closer and closer. And after they’ve killed, it’s on to the next new and better thrill, with no boundaries, no taboos, no holds barred.
I’ve been told that it’s “distracting” to be so consumed by appetite, and so psychopaths screw up.
Sometimes they make a mistake.
You may remember back to the spring of 2008 when the swimsuit model Kim McDaniels was abducted from a sandy beach in Hawaii. No ransom demand was ever made. The local cops were slow, arrogant, and clueless, and there were no witnesses or informants who had any idea who had kidnapped that beautiful and talented young woman.
At that time, I was an ex-cop turned mystery writer, but since my last book had gone almost straight from the shipping carton to the remainder racks, I was a third-strike novelist doing the next best thing to writing pulp fiction.
I was reporting crime for the L.A. Times, which, on the upside, was how the highly successful novelist Michael Connelly got his start.
I was at my desk twenty-four hours after Kim went missing. I was filing yet another routinely tragic story of a drive-by fatality when my editor, Daniel Aronstein, leaned into my cube, said “Catch,” and tossed me a ticket to Maui.
I was almost forty then, going numb from crime scene fatigue, still telling myself that I was perfectly positioned to hook a book idea that would turn my life around one more time. It was a lie I believed because it anchored my fraying hope for a better future.
The weird thing is, when the big idea called me out—I never saw it coming.
Aronstein’s ticket to Hawaii gave me a much-needed hit. I sensed a five-star boondoggle, featuring oceanfront bars and half-naked girls. And I saw myself jousting with the competition—all that, and the L.A. Times was picking up the tab.
I grabbed that airline ticket and flew off to the biggest story of my career.
Kim McDaniels’s abduction was a flash fire, a white-hot tale with an unknown shelf life. Every news outlet on the planet was already on the story when I joined the gaggle of reporters at the police cordon outside the Wailea Princess.
At first, I thought what all the journos thought, that Kim had probably been drinking, got picked up by some bad boys, that they’d raped her, silenced her, dumped her. That the “Missing Beauty” would be top o’ the news for a week, or a month, until some celebrity bigot or the Department of Homeland Security grabbed back the front page.
But, still, I had my self-delusion to support and an expense account to justify, so I bulled my way into the black heart of a vile and compelling crime spree.
In so doing, and not by my own devising, I became part of the story, selected by a profoundly psychotic killer with a cherished self-delusion of his own.
The book you hold in your hands is the true story of a skillful, elusive, and, most would say, first-rate monster who called himself Henri Benoit. As Henri told me himself, “Jack the Ripper never dreamed of killing like this.”
For months now, I’ve been living in a remote location getting “Henri’s” story down. There are frequent electrical brownouts in this place, so I’ve gotten handy with a manual typewriter.
Turns out I didn’t need Google because what isn’t in my tapes and notes and clippings is permanently imprinted on my brain.
Swimsuit is about an unprecedented pattern killer who upped the ante to new heights, an assassin like no other before or since. I’ve taken some literary license in telling his story because I can’t know what Henri or his victims were thinking in a given moment.
Don’t worry about that, not even for a second, because what Henri told me in his own words was proven by the facts.
And the facts tell the truth.
And the truth will blow your mind, as it did mine.
—Benjamin L. Hawkins
KIM MCDANIELS WAS BAREFOOT and wearing a blue-and-white-striped Juicy Couture minidress when she was awoken by a thump against her hip, a bruising thump. She opened her eyes in the blackness, as questions broke the surface of her mind.
Where was she? What the hell was going on?
She wrestled with the blanket draped over her head, finally got her face free, realized a couple of new things. Her hands and feet were bound. And she was in some kind of cramped compartment.
Another thump jolted her, and Kim yelled this time, “Hey!”
Her shout went nowhere, muffled by the confined space, the vibration of an engine. She realized she was inside the trunk of a car. But that made no freaking sense! She told herself to wake up!
But she was awake, feeling the bumps for real, and so she fought, twisting her wrists against a knotted nylon rope that didn’t give. She rolled onto her back, tucking her knees to her chest, then bam! She kicked up at the lid of the trunk, not budging it a fraction of an inch.
She did it again, again,again, and now pain was shooting from her soles to her hips, but she was still locked up, and now she was hurting. Panic seized her and shook her hard.
She was caught. She was trapped. She didn’t know how this had happened or why, but she wasn’t dead and she wasn’t injured. She would get away.
Using her bound hands as a claw, Kim felt around for a toolbox, a jack or a crowbar, but she found nothing, and the air was getting thin and foul as she panted alone in the dark.
Why was she here?
Kim searched for her last memory, but her mind was sluggish, as if a blanket had been thrown over her brain, too. She could only guess that she’d been drugged. Someone had slipped her a roofie, but who? When?
“Helllllllpppp! Let me out!” she yelled, kicking out at the trunk lid, banging her head against a hard metal ridge. Her eyes were filling with tears and she was getting mad now on top of being scared out of her mind.
Through her tears, Kim felt a five-inch-long bar just above her. It had to be the interior trunk release lever, and she whispered, “Thank you, God.”
Excerpted from Swimsuit by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. 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.
- 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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I like James Patterson. I can't wait for his new releases, but I wish I hadn't read this book. This was just to graphic for me. There never was a story line, it was just a person on a killing spree. I finished it but I also cheated and went to the last page to see what the ending was. This book was a disappointment. Hope his next one is better.
I fully agree that James Patterson is an amazing writer; however, I have noted a change in the style and plot mechanics of the books that certain co-authors contribute to. I, along with many family and friends, thoroughly enjoy the books written exclusively by him. But there is a difference in those written along with another writer. While I wouldn't say they "bombed", they do lack the Patterson appeal.
Swimsuit's fast pace, thin-plot and plentiful ammount of sex and violence make it perfect for a day at the beach. Ben Hawkins, a former LA Cop, now Author/Reporter is sent to cover the recent kidnapping of Swimsuit Model, Kim MacDaniels. Henry Benoit is Kim's sadistic kidnapper who not only targets her but those trying to find her. Ben finds himself involved in Benoit's sadistic world and then possibly his next victim. Swimsuit is a much better then effort then some of Patterson's recent novels. Some of the characters lack common sense and the writing tends to be lazy.(When will celebrity metaphors stop?) But, there's some good twists and turns, a truly scary villian and a surprising finale. Swimsuit isn't perfect but it's still one of Patterson's better books. -BobsViews
I think the reason for the changes in James Patterson's books is that all he is doing is offering advise and maybe help editing these books. The only real James Patterson books are the ones he writes himself. I think these new authors should write their own books and sell them under their names so that those of us who enjoy James Patterson's books won't be hoodwinked into thinking we're getting a book written by him.
I am a huge James Patterson fan..have read almost all of his books, but this one is by far the worst. I think this is gore for the sake of gore...who really wants to hear about someone chopping up another person's body and then, above all, put it on display for a group of thrill seekers to view....maybe I'm not with it, but our world does not need this kind of writing...stick to the real detective intrigue and we'll be just fine.
First, why has no one who supposedly read this book noticed that, in the synopsis offered here, the name of the model who disappeared is wrong - it was not Syd, it was Kim. Second, the development of the lead character, Ben Hawkins, as were most others, is completely lacking in depth. There are no quirks of behavior, no gestures or words that allow us to bring him to life. Had he been killed at the end of the book, I would have shrugged. I had more feeling for the human traits the parents of the model displayed, so it was a genuine shock when they were murdered. The killer, Henri, starts out as the main hook for the story. How he murders, whom he chooses; we are left wondering if or when his motives would be brought to the surface, and also, why on earth he would choose some seemingly nondescript, past-his-prime writer for a tell-all book. It felt wrong. A shadow killer, paid a fortune by an even more shadowy organization decides he suddenly wants a book about him written? Wha...? Plus, we never did get any satisfactory answers. Henri was turned into a bumblefoot at the end of the book, and Ben Hawkins goes into hiding from Horst, head of the organization??? Ugh. I hope this isn't because a sequel of Ben Hawkins is in the works. Who cares? You cannot possibly bring what should have been a nail-biting, complex cat and mouse story to life when you write in such big text and short chapters. If Patterson wants a fast-paced thriller, he needs to keep it simple so the character development doesn't have to be blunted. This started out somewhat intriguing, but turned into a mammoth disappointment because if got stupid and foolish. BTW, the cover and title were horrendous.
I have read so many of his books but this is one you should never read. The plot is appalling and this book leaves you wishing you had read something else.
No other comment is necessary
Why is it that the reviewers who are writing positive reviews are assuming that those writing negative one's have not read the book? Just because our opinions vary from yours does not mean we are lying. How ridiculous. I read this book yesterday while at the beach - terrible book. This plot is severely lacking in character development or twists. In fact, it was quite boring and bordering on silly. Honestly, Patterson's work seems to be getting worse. I read his previous book - The 8th Confession - and was sorely disappointed in that as well. My advice? Check it out from the library or wait until it comes out in the bargain bin. Don't waste the money or the time in the checkout line on this one.
Normally, I am first in line at the bookstore the day that Patterson has a new book out. But not again. This book was absolutely horrible. Actually, his last 2 have been well below his normal writing standards. The plot was the worst I've ever read by him. By the end, I was thinking to myself "This is it? This is what I've spent the last 3 days reading?" I'm not sure if Patterson is writing too many books at once, or if his style has just expired and he is reaching for plots, either way, I will not spend another dollar on his work. When his next one comes out, I will get it at the library. Don't waste your money on this one....oh, and to the girl in SC who is thinking that the negative reviews are coming from folks who actually HAVEN'T read the book, get real. I did read this book, and I still think it's horrible.
HE'S RUNNING OUT OF STORY LINES AND MUST USE CO-AUTHORS FOR HELP.
Another good Patterson story but honestly a poor ending. The storyline, build-up, details and twist & turn were what you expect from Patterson, however the ending was very weak leaving much to be desired. This story really left me captivated until the end and unfortunately the ending left me with a big "what!!!"
SO GOOD. ---- One of the best Patterson books i have ever read. Seriously how is this book not five star rated? I could NOT put it down at all, it went everywhere with me and there was so many little twists along the way. I loved the characters and thought that the culprit (henri) was an amazing character. Not that i liked him, but he was a good antagonist. I am afraid to read another book because i fear it will not be as good as Swimsuit. Please buy it. Its a little scary though if you are younger. I wouldn't read it at night or with children. Its a truly great story.
I usually do not like the works of James Patterson, but I bought this book at a drugstore on my way to the beach. My plan was to keep it in my beachbag for the summer to have something to read. I started reading it on the beach and reluctantly put it away when it was time to leave. I finished it that evening at home. It was a bit graphic and reminded me of a good old fashioned trashy novel - I kept reading to find out what the bad guy would do next!
Love JP BUT so disappointed in the ending. Seriously? No sequel? Good reading until then.....
It kept my attention for the most part. just wish there was a more definate ending to this.
Overall this is a good book. The story was gripping, the villain was scary and the best part of the story. The other characters were not as strong and I didn't develop any feelings for them or their peril. I also feel that the ending was not fulfilling and didn't bring the resolution that I had wanted or expected. There was a lot of graphic violence but not too much for this storyline.
Totally disappointed in this Patterson book, although I have been a fan for ages. Just felt it went to unnecessary lenghts to keep porn and gore on the pages without a plot of any real value. The characters being blackmailed so easily kept them from being heros or even realistic characters. I missed the Alex Cross kind of mystery and surprise.
I've enjoyed many James Patteson's books, but not this one. The violence was over the top.
I doubt I will purchase another of his books - this was a sell out for gory unncessary details with no real plot to save it from being a dismal read. I have thrown the book away as I would never share this type of trash.
James Patterson co wrote Swimsuit with Maxine Paetro. They have teamed up before on a number of the Women's Murder Club series. This time they have produced a truly terrifying villain. Beautiful young women are being horrifically murdered by a madman who shares his kills via film with his wealthy benefactors. Kim McDaniels goes missing at a swimsuit photo shoot in Hawaii. Her parents enlist the help of former cop turned journalist Ben Hawkins. Can they find her before the maniac finishes with Kim? But the killer finds Ben first and ...... Swimsuit is trademark Patterson, short chapters that end with cliff hangers, compelling you to read another page or listen to another chapters. I did listen to this in audio format. Christian Rummel was the reader. He used two totally different voices for the main characters. Ben's voice has an earnest trustworthy tone and timbre, while the voice used for the killer is truly sinister. It's all the more evil in tone for it's quietness. Fair warning - there is some explicit sex and violence in this book.
Good Plot and thrilling, but a little more of stretch for Patterson in the perversion and gore world. Although the plot was intriguing, the ending was disappointing.
Plot interesting, but very disturbing.
THIS WAS SO VERY SICK THAT I DIDN'T ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS MOST OF THE PATTERSON BOOKS. THE MAIN CHARACTER, THE EVIL DOER, WAS TOO EXTREME, IN MY OPINION. I DIDN'T FIND THE ENDING SATISFYING.
Gristley and gory! It frightened me to think that just maybe there are some perverts out there that might do this sort of thing to innocent people picked at random. I read it because it trapped me and was an easy read, but I guess it was too close to the truly dark side for me to say I enjoyed the book. I do remember it, however!