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Swimsuit

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Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.

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 ...

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Overview

Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A serial killer with an urge to break into print propels this thriller from bestseller Patterson and collaborator Paetro (4th of July). Ben Hawkins, a former L.A. cop turned reporter and author, travels to Hawaii to look into the disappearance of model Kim McDaniels, who has fallen victim to a sadistic fiend who calls himself Henri Benoit. Ben meets with Kim's distraught parents, but the investigation soon runs into dead ends, even as the body count rises. Back in Los Angeles, Henri gets in touch with Ben, and offers the story of his life and the reasons he continues with his murderous spree. As part of the deal, Henri asks the reporter to write his tell-all book. Ben can't refuse given the killer's threat to his life as well as his girlfriend's. In just one of many clever twists, Henri proves to be the consummate storyteller. Patterson fans will devour this one in a single sitting.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Larry King
Patterson never, and I mean never, disappoints.
USA Today
Chicago Sun-Times
"Patterson has mastered the art of writing page-turning bestsellers."
Lev Grossman
The Man Who Can't Miss.
Time
New York Daily News
"When it comes to construction a harrowing plot, author James Patterson can turn a screw all right."
Forbes
"America's #1 storyteller."
Larry King - USA TODAY
"Patterson never, and I mean never, disappoints."
Lev Grossman - Time
"The Man Who Can't Miss."
From the Publisher
"The high-adrenaline excitement pours out the speakers as Rummel takes the listener through an emotional wringer of egotism, fear, and ultimately triumph . . . of a sort. The novel is a powerhouse, and Rummel brings it to life."—AudioFile

"The high-adrenaline excitement pours out the speakers as Rummel takes the listener through an emotional wringer of egotism, fear, and ultimately triumph . . . of a sort. The novel is a powerhouse, and Rummel brings it to life."—AudioFile

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316018777
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 6/29/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (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:

First Chapter

Swimsuit


By Patterson, James

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446561365

Prologue

JUST THE FACTS

I KNOW THINGS I don’t want to know.

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

May 2009

Chapter 1

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.”



Continues...

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 453 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(122)

4 Star

(116)

3 Star

(99)

2 Star

(62)

1 Star

(54)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 454 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Not worth buying

    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.

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    James Patterson as a writer

    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.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    Another co-author

    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.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Patterson's Semi-successful Summer Read.

    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

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2009

    Do yourself a favor and buy a swimsuit not this book

    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.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    Not worth reading.

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Character developent sorely lacking

    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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    Will not buy Patterson again.

    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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely horrible..

    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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    This is the worst book I have ever read. Total waste of time

    No other comment is necessary

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    Junk

    I was an avid James Patterson reader until he started writing with other authors. Now unless it's written by him alone I will not waste my money. The only co-authored series that I will read is the murder club series. Everything else he's put his name on recently has been junk and I wish I would have saved my money. I agree with other readers that he's going for the quantity and not the quality. It's really unfortunate when writers who are capable of putting out great works start caring more about the money than the product they put their name on.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

    THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I DIDN'T ENJOY ONE OF HIS BOOKS.

    HE'S RUNNING OUT OF STORY LINES AND MUST USE CO-AUTHORS FOR HELP.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    just plain horrible

    What a total waste of money. James Patterson should be ashamed his name even appears on this book. Poorly written; ridiculous plot; no character development.
    James, you are a total sellout on this one.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    James Patterson Books DO NOT bomb!

    James Patterson books over the past couple of years DO NOT bomb as reviewer "Darth Vader" said in his review. Anyone who has read his books knows that he doesn't know the meaning of the word. From his Alex Cross series to the Women's Murder Club books to his Michael Bennett detective series......you can't get much better than that! Since I first read Along Came A Spider about 10 years ago I have been a huge fan and can't wait for his new books to come out. I am glad he has several come out in a year because I believe he is interested in keeping his readers interested and happy...not the almighty buck the that reviewer declared. Keep these books coming Mr. Patterson because we can't wait to see what comes next!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great fast read

    Im a huge Patterson fan, if he writes it alone or with someone.I like that hes not stuck in a rut.I do enjoy the Alex Cross the most, and Swimsuit is alot like Kiss the girls.I could not put it down.I like his quick chapters and to the point style.The fact that he uses his gift to launch other writers is great.I have bought books they have gone on to write and enjoyed.Im not a fan of the fantasy flying children series, im sure its good if you like that, my sister loves those books.So all these people knocking his more recent work, if they havent read them , Im not sure how they can review them.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Quick read, nothing flashy

    It's a quick read, nothing flashy. Your typical Patterson summer read. Very little development of characters, though it does leave the reader two questions. 1) Why am I still reading this book? and 2) Why would a serial killer tell another person especially one he threatened to write a book? If you're going to read it, wait until it's on the $6.98 special at B&N or check it out from your library.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2009

    the review is about the book not the author

    The book hasn't even come out yet.... this section is for the review on the book not the author! I for one and excited to read the book, I mean thats why I buy books to read the story not because I like the author.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sop with the junk

    What happened to Alex, sorry James, I am an avid reader of your past books must agree with the lousy reviews on the writing's your putting out, the "murder club " was ok, but lately " forget about it " Big mistake if you think we readers are tired of Alex, get with the program and bank the
    money you made and now get back to pleasing your fans. ( Yankee Tony )

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2009

    Patterson

    I still buy Patterson's books when they come out. But I think I am going to put him on my back burnner if this book is like the last, He will be with all the other good writers (King,Steel,Rice,Roberts to name a few) who is going for the all mighty dollar. Take heed and know I will stop buying junk just cause you wrote it.
    From a Majority of ONE

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Quantity losing quality

    I too was an avid fan of James Patterson books, and bought each one as they came out. All the Alex Cross books, until Cross Country really disappointed me. There are some I really love, and some that I wasted my money on. Being "King of the page turners" has made James Patterson turning out books that really are getting more and more - blah. I am very careful now about reading any of his works. I think it would be better if he stuck to quality writing, rather then quantity. I'm sure this book ranks in there with Quickie, and I don't intend to buy this. Go back to Sam's letters to Jennifer, The Beach House (one of my favorites) that's writing!!!!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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