by James Patterson
DESCRIPTION OF BOOK
New York’s Lombardo’s Steak House is famous for three reasons – the menu, the clientele, and now the gruesome murder of an infamous mob lawyer. Effortlessly, the assassin slips through the police’s fingers, and his absence sparks a blaze of accusations about who ordered the hit.
Seated at a nearby table, reporter Nick Daniels is conducting a once-in-a-lifetime interview with a legendary baseball bad-boy. Shocked and shaken, he doesn’t realise that he’s accidentally captured a key piece of evidence. Ensnared in the city’s most sensational crime in years, Nick investigates for a story of his own. Back off – or die – is the clear message as he closes in on the facts. Heedless, and perhaps in love, Nick endures humiliation, threats, violence, and worse in a thriller that overturns every expectation and finishes with the kind of flourish only James Patterson knows.
Like most of Patterson’s works, it’s a quick read with short chapters that never seem to end with a good place to put the book down. With only 2 to 3 pages per chapter, it seems easier to read than the more traditional length stories. Also true to the Patterson recipe, there’s an underlying theme of good guy versus bad guy mixed with a whole lot of death, a dash of an interesting setting, and a pinch of bittersweet romance thrown in for good measure.
Set in New York City, protagonist Nick Daniels is a journalist who seems like a likable enough guy, but has a knack for finding trouble. With Nick caught in the middle of a Russian/Italian mafia war, the cat and mouse games and his just barely escaping certain death was a frequent occurrence. It would have made a better read if Nick was injured at least once or twice to make his character seem more believable.
The book is written in the first person through the eyes of Nick, a reporter. The book carries on in the usual style until all of a sudden; Nick is talking to the reader directly. Once his pointing out of key background details is over, the story resumes in normal first person perspective. Until he does it again. This back and forth - breaking the fourth wall on multiple occasions - was unnecessarily distracting and drew me completely out of the story.
There was a romance between Nick and his editor that was predictable and didn't do much to add to the excitement of the story and almost seemed like it wasn’t in Patterson’s normal style of writing. The mystery is where we see Patterson return to form, with a lot of unexpected twists and proves to be the one thing to make the book worth reading.
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