Target: Alex Cross, James Patterson

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Title: Target: Alex Cross

Author: James Patterson

Pages: 432

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book #26 of the Alex Cross series.

Published: November 19th, 2018

Summary:

(From Goodreads)

TARGET: HEAD OF STATE

A leader has fallen, and the procession route from Capitol Hill to the White House is lined with hundreds of thousands of mourners. None feel the loss of a President more keenly than Alex Cross, who has devoted his life to the public good. 

TARGET: UNITED STATES CABINET

A sniper’s bullet strikes a target in the heart of DC. Alex Cross’s wife, Bree Stone, newly elevated chief of DC detectives, faces an ultimatum: solve the case, or lose the position for which she’s worked her entire career. The Secret Service and the FBI deploy as well in the race to find the shooter. Alex is tasked by the new President to take a personal role with the FBI, leading an investigation unprecedented in scale and scope. 

TARGET: ALEX CROSS 

Alex has a horrible premonition: is the sniper’s strike only the beginning of a larger attack on the nation? It isn’t long before his fears explode into life, and the nation plunges into a full-blown Constitutional crisis. His ingenuity, his training, and his capacity for battle are tested beyond limits in the most far-reaching and urgently consequential case of his life. As the rule of law is shattered by chaos, and Alex fights to isolate a suspect, Alex’s loyalty may be the biggest danger of all.

My thoughts:

Let’s be real for a second.  What keeps us coming back to this detective’s world?  I have been following this series for most of my adult life by now!  Personally, I love this character and his family- it’s like revisiting an old friend.  I adore the fact that I get to watch them grow and change.  Also, I love the insight Patterson gives us into the opposing side- the villains.  Every time I open a book from this series I am enthralled, led into a high-stakes game.  

In this one, I got to see more of the kids, which I love; but also more of Bree- and in a stronger role.  I loved that.  The book was well done and fast paced, the characters were perfectly developed…. honestly, this one was amazing.  I wait for these books every year.  Five stars!  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale there’s a large amount of violence, some fairly explicit sexual content, and language.  I have to give this one an eight.  Definitely geared toward adults!  adult content road sign

The book is out- go get it!

Link to book:

Amazon

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Ambush, James Patterson and James O. Born

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Title: Ambush

Authors: James Patterson and James O. Born

Pages:  303

Genre:  Mystery, detective

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book #11 of the Michael Bennett series

Published:  October 15th, 2018

Summary:

         (From Goodreads) An anonymous tip about a crime in Upper Manhattan proves to be a set-up, taking an officer down-and it’s not Michael Bennett.

The life of New York’s top cop is not the only one at risk. One of Bennett’s children sustains a mysterious injury. And a series of murders follows, each with a distinct signature, alerting Bennet to the presence of a professional killer.

Investigators chase leads that turn out to be phantoms, and this master killer entices one officer into compromising Bennett. He then goes a step further, luring another member of Bennett’s family into even graver danger. Michael Bennett can’t untangle what’s driving the assassin-but he can tell it’s personal. And he needs to determine exactly how he figures in the killer’s logic, before there is one fewer Bennett in the world.

My Thoughts:

So,  Patterson has been one of my absolute favorite authors for well over a decade.  He has amazing characters, good connections between them and interesting premises.  I think I like the fact that I can watch these characters grow over the years.  Alex Cross, Lindsay Boxer and Michael Bennett have been characters I have adored.  I love seeing the families together, the side characters, and watching the main characters grow.

That said, this one was touch and go for me. I had a great time catching up with the family- gotta love Seamus and the kids.  The premise was good, and I especially liked that I got a pretty good look into the mind of the killer.  It was intense, fast paced and interesting.  What made me angry, though, was the ending.  It’s like the author just gave up.  Let’s figure out the easiest way to wrap this up!  Who cares is it doesn’t make sense or is dissatisfying?  I have sadly seen this a few times from this author in recent years.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the series and the author… but this one left me feeling cheated a bit.  Three stars.   normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, there’s a lot of  language, violence and sexual content.  I give it a seven.    mature audience.

Link to book:

Amazon

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The 17th Suspect, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Title: 17th Suspect (also shown on Goodreads as 17th Shooter and 17th Scandal; I think the first title is the one that will be used most)

Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Pages:  368

Genre: mystery, suspense  detective novel

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book 17 of The Women’s Murder Club

Published: April 30th, 2018

Summary:

An informant pulls Lindsay into a heartbreaking series of murders outside her jurisdiction.  She can’t let go, even though she knows she should- someone is taking down San Francisco’s homeless and the cops working the cases don’t seem to care.  Millie, her informant, is kind and lucid… and scared.  Someone needs to protect her and Lindsay just knows she has to be the one to do it.  At the same time, though, her health is failing and she is getting backlash for going into another’s jurisdiction.  Can she keep it together and help her informant?  Or has she finally taken on too much?

While all this is happening Yuki is taking on an explosive case.  A handsome young man claims to have been raped by his ex-girlfriends and supervisor.  Matt’s story breaks Yuki’s heart and she takes on the case against Brianna Hall.  The internet is going nuts- can an able bodied man truly be raped by a woman?  Yes, Yuki knows they can… but was Matt?  Both sides have their own story- and both are believable.  Who’s telling the truth?  At the same time, Yuki feels like her husband Brady is taking a step back from her.  They are both busy professionals…. can they keep their careers and marriage?

My thoughts:

Patterson is still one of my all time favorite authors- and this is one of his top three best series’.  I love Lindsay and her crew- they are a well developed and interesting group of characters that each bring something special and unique to the group. We have watched this team learn and grow for years, becoming a part of us.  I think that’s why this is one of my favorites along with the Alex Cross and Michael Bennett series.  I need to be able to revisit these old friends, join in their adventures.  All three are instant-buys for me, no matter what.

The plot was good and the story had a nice transition from Yuki to Lindsay.  It was fast paced, action packed, and held the perfect amount of emotion.  I loved it to death.  I even found myself feeling for the shooter, just a little.  That’s another thing I like about Patterson- you get to visit the shooter’s mind, find his motivation and quirks.  They’ll never be your BFF, but it’s interesting to see this side.  My only complaint is that I felt like Cindy and Claire took a backseat in this one- they were barely present at all!  It brought the book down for me- just a touch.  Admittedly, I can’t see how you could bring them in without adding at least a hundred pages to the book…. but they’re still part of what makes this a successful series.  For me, this is a four and a half star book.  I highly recommend it, but read the other ones first- and don’t forget the bookshot!

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On the adult content scale there’s violence, language and sexual content.  I have to say that this is one for more mature audiences.  My niece will not be receiving this book.  Let’s give it a seven.  Parental_Advisory_label.svg

The book is out!  Have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

Happy reading,

Amber

 

Fifty Fifty, James Patterson and Candice Fox

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Title: Fifty Fifty

Authors: James Patterson and Candice Fox

Pages: 377

Genre: detective, mystery, thriller

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book two of the Detective Harriet Blue books.  (Read the other book and the bookshot first).

Published:  February 19th, 2018

Summary:

Sam Blue is standing trial for the murder of three young women.  Harriet knows Sam could never have done this…. but she’s the only one.  An altercation gets her banned from the trial and sent out to Last Chance Valley to investigate a possible planned attack on the populace of 75.

On her first day a homemade bomb kills the retired sheriff.  With the help of the only cop in Last Chance Valley and a terrorist agent, she must find out who is behind all this before anyone else is hurt and the only clue is a diary found in an abandoned backpack.

While she is out there, her friend and partner Whitt is trying to keep tabs on the trial and keep Sam safe behind bars.  When he is attacked outside the courthouse one day, help comes in the form of Tox- a detective that has worked with Harriet in the past.  The two could not be more different…. but it may just be that together they can find the evidence needed to protect Sam for Harry’s sake.

My thoughts:

I have to say that this is not my favorite series from Patterson.  It is near the bottom of the list, in fact.  I keep reading because I keep hoping it will find it’s stride and get better, like the RED series did.  Sadly the way this book finished, this could be the last book for Harry’s series.  It would be a terrible wrap-up with far too many open ends…. but it’s happened in the past and I can’t find any chatter about another book.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  It is by far the best written of the series, but certain things were still far too predictable.  (Harry blows up and gets in trouble with her captain- gets shipped out to Middle of Nowhere, Australia…. yeah, that happened in a previous book for this series.  Bear in mind there are only two books and a novella here.)  Whitt, a character I was beginning to like, is given more of a casual role here and instead of getting to know him better as a character a lot of time is spent on his observations on Tox.  Tox is an interesting character too, and I love him for his loyalty to Harry…. but I prefer Whitt and was a bit saddened by his role here.  Harry is also a dilemma for me.  I need character growth- I want to watch them grow, root for them.  Harry hasn’t had too much of that since I first met her.  She did have an aha moment near the end of the stay in Last Chance Valley where I felt like maybe there was hope; but the way the book ended it could go either way and, as I said before, there is no talk of another book.

All of that aside, I did enjoy getting to know the villain of this piece, and the fact that the current victim was given a voice as well.  The book was fast paced and definitely action packed.   I liked the nods to the previous books and characters, and the moments where Harry showed her more caring side.  She is a protector, fierce and loyal.  I can get behind that… I just don’t always want her bashing heads and fighting her way through trouble.  For me, this is a three and a half star book.  If there is more I will read it, if only for closure.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating2000px-Half_Star_Yellow.svg

On the adult content scale, there is a lot of violence, cursing, and the occasional racial remarks.  Emphasis on violence.  There is also talk of child abuse of a sexual nature.  this could be a trigger.  I give it an eight.mature audience.

The book is out now.  Have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

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A James Patterson read-a-thon! (Catching up with my favorite Detectives)

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So, this past week I haven’t had any ARC’s in danger of being late and I indulged in four of the books I had bought by James Patterson.  I decided to combine them and do the reviews here.  Let’s get started!  As always, there are some minor spoilers.  I try to keep it at a minimum.  spolier alert

Haunted, James Patterson and James O. Born.  Published September 18th of this year, this is book #10 in the Michael Bennett series.  Feeling drained from personal and work happenings, Bennett decides it’s time for a vacation.  When an old partner offers up a house in Main for cheap rental, he is thrilled.  It’s time for the family to escape the city!  But even here, his efforts are needed as kids are disappearing without explanation.  Pulled into a case involving drug dealers and buried secrets, Michael has to figure out what’s going on before the whole situation explodes.

I loved this one for a dozen reasons.  It paid a lot more attention to family dynamics inside the Bennett household and I got more time with Seamus whom I adore.  The story line was great- really interesting and intense.  There were moments where I truly wanted to scream- that can’t happen… it never would!  Yet, it’s fairly true to how things might pan out with the current mood toward police.  I think that above all was terrifying about the book.  I loved the character Sadie, strong and no-nonsense without a hint of self-pity.  I also liked the introduction of his old police partner.  For me this is a five star book.normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, I give it a six.  There’s a lot of language and violence.

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Manhunt, James Patterson and James O. Born.  This one is a bookshot that was published November 7th.  It follows book #10 in the Michael Bennett series.  Michael is still reeling from a major disrupt in his home life (Brian is awaiting trial for selling drugs).  Still, he has a job to do and nine more children to see to.  When he takes the kids to the Thanksgiving Day Parade he gets a front row view of a truck driving into the parade, and a bomb detonating.  As the only cop available he gives chase.  As the case goes longer he works with the FBI to catch the bomber…. but what if things aren’t as they seem?

This is perhaps one of my favorite from the Bennett series. The struggle Michael dealt with in his family was very real and potent.  I always did love the family aspect to both this series and the Alex Cross books.  The story line is amazing and action packed, though sometimes felt rushed simply because it had to be wrapped up in 145 pages.  I liked the side characters, and I loved the little twists in the story that kept me guessing.  This is a five star book for me. normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, I give it a six for violence and language.  mature audience.

Count To Ten, James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi.  Book #13 of the Private novels.  This one is in Mumbai and circles Santosh Wagh and his crew.  When a tryst gone terribly wrong exposes a unique burial site Private is hired on to find out what’s going on, and keep it as quiet as humanly possible.  Having had little to do with politics when possible, Jack is ill prepared for the level of intrigue and backstabbing- he and his team just want to find out the truth of what’s going on!  What they uncover is beyond description- a ring of organ harvesters that includes some of the city’s biggest names.  Who’s behind all this?  While they are going through their investigation, The Deliverer is doing some of his own.  He has the names of the top people in the scam- and they won’t be seeing jail time.   Can they figure out everything and stop the vigilante before it’s too late?

The Private novels are usually touch and go for me.  I think my issue is that there are so many different characters…. I grow to like this or that person and then I won’t see them for half a dozen books.  It’s harder for me to connect with the series due to this.  I will say that I liked all the main players in the India office; they were interesting, well developed characters each with their own demons working together to strengthen one another.  I also liked the plot, and the way it played out…. though the ending seemed a bit rushed to me.  Still, it grabbed my attention enough that I will continue the series, and thus did it’s job I suppose.  I wish I knew when I could see the three Private India detectives next, and follow up…. but that could be years from now if he ever introduces the characters again.  I guess I find it hard to get over the inconsistency of main characters in the series- or even supporting ones.  Seriously, when’s the last time I saw Mobot?  I read Patterson’s series for their in depth characters- I grow to love them and crave news of them.  This series simply does not provide that for me.  For me, this is a three and a half star book.  normal star rating normal star ratingnormal star rating2000px-Half_Star_Yellow.svg

On the adult content scale, there is quite a lot of violence and a bit of language.  We also go into depth on Santosh’s road to being a recovering alcoholic.   For these reasons, I give it a seven.

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The People VS Alex Cross, James Patterson.  Book #25 of the Alex Cross series.  Absolutely do not read this book unless you are up to date on the series- especially if you haven’t read the bookshot Cross Kill.  This brings things to a head that has been happening for a while.  On suspension for the happenings in Cross Kill, Alex awaits his trial- for unjust killings of two of the Soneji group members and the assault of another.  They were armed… he knows they were!  But all evidence points to Cross being as branded- a trigger happy cop believing himself above the law.  Even some of those closest to him begin to question it!  While he is trying to find a way to clear his name, Sampson is caught in a huge case and enlists his help- off the record of course.  A string of blond women begin to disappear, and the evidence leads the detectives into the darkest part of the web.

There was a lot going on here.  On the home front, we spent a lot more time with Ali, who’s growing up way to fast, Janie and Bri.  I loved the time with the family, and getting to know Ali better-  I really love the smart little guy.  The dual storylines were a bit much to handle, but it was really interesting as well and everything tied together well.  I loved the new characters and the interaction between everyone.  I especially loved the time with Sampson and getting to see how he was recovered and a detective again.  It was fast paced, exciting and really well written.  Five stars all the way!

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On the adult content scale…. there’s a lot.  Gratuitous violence, some sexual content, and a trigger- snuff…. and I don’t mean the tobacco.  That alone made this more uncomfortable than others for me.  I have to give it a ten.  adult content rubber stamp

Have you guys read any of these?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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