Monday, February 16, 2009

Run For Your Life - James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge


Run For Your Life
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Little, Brown and Company

Thriller

Recently widowed, NYPD detective Michael Bennett has his hands full with his job and taking care of his ten adopted children. Good thing he’s got Irish nanny Mary Catherine, who seems to love the kids as much as he does. When he gets a call from the Commissioner, asking him to take a case, Bennett knows that it’s not going to be good. In one afternoon, a man walked into the Ralph Lauren flagship store and shot a clerk. Hours later, a man calmly entered 21 and shot the maitre’d . In a possibly-related incident earlier that day, a well-dressed businessman knocked a woman off a subway platform into the path of a train.

It doesn’t take long for Bennett to realize that these three acts are somehow related; and all perpetrated by the same man. The killer is calling himself The Teacher. He’s provided the press with a sort of manifesto, detailing his reasoning and explaining why his actions are to better the quality of life in New York. Regardless, Bennett and his team hit the ground running, trying to catch this guy before he kills again.

Some of the chapters are written from Bennett’s pov; some are from The Teacher’s. It’s very interesting to watch these two men, both good at what they do, try to outsmart and outmaneuver each other. Even though the reader is privy to much of The Teacher’s thoughts and logic, the authors still manage to hold back a good deal of information until later in the book. The Teacher is a worthy adversary; smart, tough, and scary.

Bennett was last seen in STEP ON A CRACK. I enjoy his character when he's on the job. The scenes of him at home with his ten flu-ridden children, though, feel a bit too much like “Cheaper By The Dozen” and tend to interrupt the flow of the story. Seeing him balance his personal and professional life makes him realistic; I just think there could have been a bit less of that. The final scenes are a bit over the top, but by the time I got there, I was fully invested in the story and had no problem just going with it. As usual, Mr. Patterson and his co-authors serve up a good story at a breakneck pace.

Rating: 7 ½
February 2009
ISBN# 978-0-316-01874-6 (hardcover)

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