Thursday, February 18, 2016

Good Reads

Reading a James Patterson thriller to me is what fast food is to others. 

That's because I know what to expect, the story moves along very quickly, and I'm generally well satisfied

Then there's the added perks — readable type size (unlike tiny fonts in some books), very short chapters often no more than 3-5 pages long. One recent read had more than 105 chapters in just over 350 pages. That makes reading a few chapters before bed an easy chore.

These two books, NYPD Red 4 and 14th Deadly Sin, are the latest in two series by Patterson and another writer. One of the most prolific best-selling authors, James Patterson has written 137 books, many with co-authors. 

NYPD 4 (James Patterson and Marshall Karp) is Patterson's 25th book that recently debuted at No. 1 on bestseller lists. It's the story of a murdered actress, a bold jewel theft, and a cold-blooded killer. NYPD Red is the code name assigned to an elite NYC task force set up to protect the wealthy, famous, and connected. Detective Zach Jordan and partner, Kylie MacDonald are   investigators who work non-stop to solve a case, despite their own complicated lives. MacDonald is struggling with the ongoing issues of her husband’s drug addiction; Jordan is adjusting to the complications of his girlfriend moving in with him.

At a Manhattan movie premiere, a jewelry theft turns into murder as the actress wearing a million dollar necklace is killed and the jewels are stolen. 

But this is not the only storyline, there are three others, two involve NYPD Red cases and two center around the personal lives of Jordan and MacDonald. The jewelry theft is the main plot with other subplots, including a series of medical equipment thefts from NYC hospitals. aside from the detectives, t
here's no shortage many added characters such as a 70-year old grifter, Annie Ryder. She may be the smartest character and her son, Teddy, one of the jewelry thieves may be the dumbest. 

NYPD Red 4 is the first in this series to hit no. 1. NYPD Red 3 ranked no. 2 in 2015; NYPD Red 2  reached no. 7 in 2014, and NYPD Red hit no. 3 in 2012.

14th Deadly Sin (Women's Murder Club) was co-written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. The WMC consists of four friends: Lindsay Boxer, a homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department; Cindy Thomas, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle; Claire Washburn, the Chief Medical Examiner for San Francisco; and Yuki Castellano, a San Francisco district attorney.

Books in this series are: 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, The 6th Target, 7th Heaven, The 8th Confession, The 9th Judgment, 10th Anniversary, 11th Hour, 12th of Never, Unlucky 13, 14th Deadly Sin, and the upcoming latest addition,15th Affair. 

Every one except 7th Heaven and 10th Anniversary were No. 1 New York Times best sellers. A NYT article stated that Patterson set the WMC series in San Francisco to attract West Coast fans because fellow author John Grisham was leading in book sales there. Patterson was the sole author on the first novel,1st to Die. Books 2 and 3 in the series were co-authored with Andrew Gross and books 4 to 15 were co-authored with Maxine Paetro.

Here's some brief "non-spoiler" highlights of this book. Everything is going well for WMC members who meet to celebrate Claire's birthday. The event is cut short when Detective Boxer is summoned to a gruesome crime scene. A woman has been murdered in broad daylight; there's plenty of eyewitnesses, but no suspects or clues. Is this a random murder or part of a pattern that's resulted in the similar deaths of 4 other women. 

While the investigation is underway, video footage of another crime surfaces. Gunmen wearing San Francisco police department windbreakers with faces hidden behind masks conduct a series of robberies and murders. All of Detective Boxer's fellow officers are suspects until this crime spree is solved. Meanwhile, Yuki is working on a case in which the actions of two police officers caused the death of a teenager who was falsely accused of murder.

The WMC books delve right into the murders with no long build-up. The action is quick and while the crimes are gruesome, the authors move the pace along quickly. There's no need to overanalyze the plot. If you like a fast read with strong female characters, I would recommend this series.

What's are you currently reading and have you read any James Patterson books?


Sandra said...

I did not know 4 was out. I have read the others. will check the library right now and get on the waiting list. thanks for the heads up

William Kendall said...

I've never read any Patterson. I tend to go more for spy thrillers.

NCmountainwoman said...

I read one Patterson book, found it mildly entertaining and started a second one. Felt like I was reading the same story so I gave it up. I have a lot of friends who gobble them up like candy.

I just finished the new Elizabeth Strout book, "My Name is Lucy Barton," (and hated it) and Patti Smith's "M Train" (liked it a lot). Next up is Stephen King's "Finders Keepers," the sequel to "Mr. Mercedes" (which I loved). My non-fiction right now is "The Worst Hard Time" about the people who stayed put during the dust bowl. Fascinating but the author tends to get carried away with endless explanations.

Perhaps I'll give Patterson another try.

Connie said...

I have read some of Patterson's books before. He does keep the pace fast and the characters interesting. His books were always very popular when I used to work at the library.

Emma Springfield said...

Right now I am reading a book that is a true story. A young man who happens to be a reporter found out around the time that his mother died that his mother had a sister that he and his siblings knew nothing about. The setting is in Detroit so there are many references to people, places, and events that I recognize. As to James Patterson any book written by him is a good read. I have not read all of them but I have read quite a few.

JP A Quiet Corner said...

Thanks for the good read Patterson's books!...:)JP

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