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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Why are James Patterson's novels so successful? Is it the gritty plotlines? The colorful cast of good guys and bad guys? The pithy, addictive chapters (the literary equivalent of potato chips)? Or could it be those quirky TV commercials featuring Patterson himself rhyming up a storm in front of the camera?
It's all of the above, of course, but the real reason Patterson has become such a force to be reckoned with on bestseller lists is his uncomplicated, no-nonsense, bare-knuckles approach to storytelling. No fat here! In a time when some authors don't know when to shut up, filling their narratives with too much inflated detail, Patterson has honed to razor-sharp perfection the art of the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
Violets Are Blue, the author's exciting sequel to Roses Are Red, explodes like a potent combination of Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks. It opens with D.C. Detective Alex Cross on the verge of losing his mind. Betsy Cavalierre, his former partner and girlfriend, has just been found brutally murdered. The culprit is none other than Cross's chief nemesis -- the brilliant, sadistic Mastermind. Only moments after arriving at the scene, Cross receives a taunting call from the madman, with savage details of the murder and threats to take out the detective next, along with his children and his mother. To make matters worse, when two joggers are found dead in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco -- their bodies drained of blood and riddled with puncture wounds and tooth marks -- Cross finds himself involved in an FBI case shockingly similar to an unsolved case from earlier in his career. Soon Cross descends into a Hades of sick sex and ritualistic murder involving a group of modern-day vampires that may or may not be the real thing. And let's not forget that the twisted Mastermind is never far behind, nipping at Cross's heels like Old Scratch himself, at every twist and turn in the novel.
Taut, fast-paced, and leavened with Patterson's dark sense of humor, Violets Are Blue is a wickedly entertaining read, an old-fashioned story about the powers of good and evil. Mark another notch on Patterson's belt: This book puts the thrill in thriller. (Stephen Bloom)