The Thomas Berryman Number



You are about to begin one of the classic American novels of suspense by the world's bestselling author. It begins with three terrifying murders in the South. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

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The Thomas Berryman Number

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You are about to begin one of the classic American novels of suspense by the world's bestselling author. It begins with three terrifying murders in the South. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In Season of the Machete, actor Lou Diamond Phillips does an outstanding job presenting complex accents and distinctive characterizations, both male and female. His steady tone adds greatly to this story of a small Caribbean island paradise ripped apart by racial tension. Damian and Carrie Rose are "Killers for Hire"; they've been contacted by a Mafia family to disrupt the tranquility of San Dominica, a small island catering to middle-class tourists. The Mafia wants to make the vicious killings appear to be the work of a rebel island native who uses machetes as freely as the Roses use guns. When a young American working in an island hotel accidentally witnesses one of the killings and is able to identify the elusive Damian, the murders increase in intensity and the entire Caribbean is threatened with rebellions. This straight-forward mystery moves relentlessly to a violent and unexpected conclusion.

Not so fortunate is The Thomas Berryman Number, which suffers from a meandering plot and a bewildering cast of characters. Reader Will Patton does his best to keep things in order, skillfully using honeyed Southern accents to tell the story of an ambitious newspaper reporter who investigates the assassination of a beloved African American leader. Those patient enough to wade through the molasses-thick tale will find a rewarding climax awaiting them as the action moves from murders in the South to a riveting manhunt in the North. Patterson has legions of fans; these two books will find an eager audience. The other titles in this series (e.g., Honeymoon, Mary, Mary, and London Bridges) should be well within the budgets of public libraries large andsmall.
—Joseph L. Carlson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455561605
  • Publisher: Grand Central
  • Publication date: 1/20/2015
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 495,407

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.


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

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

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

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

Good To Know

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

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

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

Read an Excerpt

The Thomas Berryman Number

By James Patterson

Warner Books

Copyright © 1976 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-60045-8


Down on the Farm (1962)

Claude, Texas, 1962

The year he and Ben Toy left Claude, Texas-1962-Thomas Berryman had been in the habit of wearing black cowboy boots with distinctive red stars on the ankles. He'd also been stuffing four twenty-dollar bills in each boot sole. By mid-July the money had begun to shred and smell like feet.

One otherwise unpromising afternoon there'd been a shiny Coupe de Ville out on Ranch Road #5. It was metallic blue. Throwing sun spirals and stars off the bumpers.

He and Ben Toy had watched its approach for six or eight miles of scruffy Panhandle desert. They were doing nothing. "Bored sick and dying fast on a fencerail," Berryman had said earlier. Toy had only half-smiled.

"You heard about that greaseball Raymond Cone? I suppose you did," the conversation was going now.

"I always said that was going to happen." Berryman puffed thoughtfully on a non-filter cigarette. "The way he's always talking about dry-humping Nadine in his old man's Chevrolet, it had to."

"You think he'll marry her?"

"I know he'll marry her. It's been happening for about a hundred years straight around here. Then the old man gets him with Pepsi in Amarillo. Then she has the kid. Then he splits on both of them for Reno, Nevada, or California. I hate that, I really do."

Toy took out a small, wrinkled roll of money and started counting five- and ten- and one-dollar bills. "He says he'll put a 30-30 in his mouth. Before he marries Nadine."

"Yeah, well ... He'll be haulassing soda cases pretty soon. That'll dilute his 'Frankie and Johnny' philosophies."

Thomas Berryman shaded his sunglasses so he could see the approaching car better. A finely made coil of brown dust followed it like a streamer. Buzzards crossed its path, heading east toward Wichita Falls.

When the Coupe was less than twenty-five yards away, Berryman flipped out his thumb. "Are you coming or not?" he said to Toy.

The big car, meanwhile, had clicked out of cruise control and was easing to a stop.

The driver turned out to be the Bishop of Albuquerque-. Padre Luis Gonsolo. Both young men left Claude, Texas, with him. They kept right on going until they were in New York City.

Thomas Berryman and Ben Toy rode into New York in high style too ... in the 1962 metallic blue Coupe de Ville ... without the Bishop.


Excerpted from The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson Copyright © 1976 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.

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