Truth or Die By James Patterson & Howard Roughan Review!

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Truth or Die (2015) is a standalone novel by James Patterson & Howard Roughan.


The book follows the story of Trevor Mann who is a lawyer from New York. He is very much in love with his girlfriend Claire Parker who is a New York Times journalist and in the early pages we get a glimpse of what their life is like together. But soon their little world is shattered when Claire is killed in what is at first thought to be a mugging. But convinced otherwise the grief-stricken Trevor begins to investigate the case and goes on a mission for justice, truth and closure.


As Trevor investigates his girlfriend’s mysterious death, he finds out that Claire had found out things in the course of her work that someone or some people want to keep secret. Along the way he meets many characters and a list of suspects also rises which makes for many interesting twists and turns. My favourite character was Owen, a 19-year-old whizz kid who is really nerdy, bright and scientific and who has some of the best one-liners in the book. He is so intelligent and sharp-witted and a really interesting character. It was nice to see a teenager in a book with brains, ambition and purpose because many teenagers do have those qualities and dreams and the tired old stereotype in books that all teenagers are zombie-like and know nothing about nothing is often very off the mark. Undoubtedly teenagers like that exist (newsflash: there’s people older than teenagers like that too!) but there’s also teenagers like Owen so it was a nice change. (Oh and just to be fair, there’s those older than teenagers who are like Owen too!) I also really liked Beverley. She is a great example of a strong, smart woman in fiction. She has no fear of taking on misogyny when it comes her way and there is a particularly good scene during a round of clay pigeon shooting which made me smile.


I very much enjoyed this book. There was plenty of action and there was a really good plot that kept my attention throughout. There was also a lot of deep issues dealt with like grief and the need to find truth and justice in order to start healing towards closure. It asks the question whether anything will give someone closure after such a heartbreaking part of their life. The characters are a great mix and interact very well and very naturally with each other. There is a lot of layers to this book and so many different worlds combine which makes it a very interesting read.


There is often criticism of James’ books with co-authors and I don’t really get that myself. Undoubtedly James’ books on his own are amazing but his books with co-authors are amazing too. His books with co-authors help give a fresh and new feel to the stories as different writers working on a plot always do. And on a personal note, as a writer too, I think it’s nice to see authors get a break writing a book with such a legend of the thriller genre. (I’d love to get the chance to but that’s a whole other story!) And I think the co-authors do a very good job. It’s a great idea because it helps James’ readers to find these wonderful authors and in turn check out their work on their own. So I love the idea.


A great read. A real page-turner.


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7th Heaven By James Patterson And Maxine Paetro Review!

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7th Heaven (2008) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is the seventh story in the Women’s Murder Club series.


In this book Lindsay Boxer and the gang Claire Washburn, Yuki Castellano and Cindy Thomas are investigating two cases. Rich Conklin is also back as an honourary member of the club. Michael Campion has went missing and Junie Moon whose house he was seen going into last becomes the prime suspect. Yuki is attempting to prove her guilt. The second case concerns numerous fires in which couples are killed which two people who go under the names Pidge and Hawk are responsible.


Lindsay is also trying to figure out her personal life and has still to come to a decision about whether or not to marry Joe. She also needs to figure out how she feels about Rich first. All manner of complicated Linds!


I really enjoyed the book. There was a lot of twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. It takes a while but near the end you do kind of see where it’s all going so the mystery element is written very well but doesn’t really stay a mystery to the end. The characters are very well-written and there’s much variety in their personalities. There is much insight into why everyone is reacting or feels they need to react in a particular way in the novel.


In this book there is a lot about Lindsay’s personal life and how she is torn between Joe and Rich. From future books I’ve already read in the series I know she was with Joe so the suspense of that situation wasn’t really there for me! But it was interesting to read about their relationship prior to Lindsay deciding he was the man for her and seeing how things were written to help get to the point where they were deciding to always be together. But I must admit I think Lindsay and Rich have more chemistry together. Joe is nice and I like him but in comparison to how Lindsay is with Rich they don’t seem to fit as naturally together. But that’s personal taste I guess.


Claire also gives birth in this story and that was a lovely little moment to read in the book when Lindsay, the girls and Rich came to the hospital. Very sweet and written beautifully.


A flaw I did have with this book was in relation to the courtroom scenes. I thought there was a bit too much of the vibe that Yuki was a hero and the opposing lawyer L. Diana Davis being ruthless. I found they were both just doing their job in a case where Junie’s innocence or guilt wasn’t proven either way despite her confession and I found that there was a bit of pushing Yuki as nice and L. Diana as not being which didn’t add to the story.


Another great read from the Women’s Murder Club series. Page-turner. Very interesting.


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10th Anniversary By James Patterson And Maxine Paetro Review!

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10th Anniversary (2011) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is an interesting and fast paced read.


Again we join Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends as they investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding why a fifteen year old girl is left to die and her baby who she has just given birth to has disappeared.


Meanwhile Lindsay’s friend Yuki Castellano is working on the case of a woman accused of murdering her husband with her two children present. Yuki needs her to be found guilty for her career advancements but Lindsay finds in the course of her investigation that she may not be guilty throwing her into a difficult situation in the middle of her new married life to Joe and plans to start a family and under the watchful eye of her new boss Lieutenant Jackson Brady.


A book filled with twists and turns and further character progression this book is another gem in this fantastic series. The mysteries are well thought out, interesting and not easy to work out. Alongside Lindsay’s relationships with Joe and the girls she also continues to have a good relationship with Rich. There is also very quick dialogue and great descriptions. A very addictive read and with the short chapters you find yourself reading more than you planned in each sitting which helps readers breeze through the book in an enjoyable read.


Ultimately the characters make this series. There is great connections between the various characters and as the books go on those relationships are getting deeper and deeper which keeps adding more and more depth to the story. Another engrossing read in the series. Great light mystery reading.


A great, enjoyable read.


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London Bridges By James Patterson Review!

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London Bridges (2004) by James Patterson is the tenth novel in Patterson’s Alex Cross series.


As always Patterson’s books are fast-paced thrillers that keep you engrossed and turning the pages. This book is no exception to that rule. In this outing, Alex is on a mission to catch the Wolf as well as his old nemesis from Pop Goes The Weasel, the Weasel aka Geoffrey Shafer. The mysterious Wolf is causing bombs to go off left, right and centre and sending demands to those in power for money and prisoners to be released to make them stop all the death and destruction. They have destroyed a Nevada town and are making threats that they will blow up London, Tel Aviv, New York and Paris.


Quite a terrifying read as much of it sadly rings true to the destructive and dangerous world we live in nowadays with the attacks being very like terrorist attacks. Patterson has an excellent talent for writing topical news into his stories with great accuracy and sensitivity and he writes these difficult and emotionally draining topics very well in London Bridges.


There is also lighter moments in the book where Alex is with his family and girlfriend (he’s with Jamilla in this book, it’s prior to him meeting Bree) which as always are lovely to read. I had to smile at Nana getting tired of Alex fussing about her health. That felt very authentic to life and was fun to read. Brought a smile to my face.


There is as always many suspects and great character development and insight. And lots of twists and turns to keep you reading and reading. I didn’t get who the identity of the Wolf was and to be honest the ending confused me a little bit. By the end I wasn’t quite sure who the Wolf was. I just knew it wasn’t who I thought it was. Maybe it’s a continuing mystery but if not, the ending felt for such a page-turner to be confusing and anticlimactic which I felt was unfortunate because otherwise I found this another brilliant Patterson read.


Pity about the ending. However this is another very well-written book that easily keeps you engaged and wanting to read more. A great read.


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Private L.A. By James Patterson & Mark Sullivan Review!

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Private L.A. (2014) by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan is the seventh book in the Private series and it is an intriguing read full of twists and turns.


In this outing, Private Jack Morgan is on the case of a missing family. The case is high profile in the media as the parents Jennifer and Thom Harlow are well-known and respected film stars and philanthropists. Now both they and their three young children have been kidnapped without a trace. Soon however Morgan gets more than he bargains for as the case becomes more and more complex the deeper he and his team at Private dig. On top of all this Morgan is investigating a terrorist group called No Prisoners where a shooting on a beach draws Morgan’s attention to the terrorist gang. What follows is more and more killings and terror with Private running out of time to save as many peoples’ lives as they can. I thought the two cases were written very well. There is great indepth into the characters and some of them in both stories are extremely dark, evil characters so I wouldn’t say it was easy for Patterson and Sullivan to write how their minds worked. But both stories were written very honestly and were very interesting to read with lots of twists and turns in both in excellent fast-paced chapters.There is also quite an interesting side storyline involving Morgan’s run-ins with his brother Tommy who is accused of murder and trying to maintain Morgan was involved with the murder too. Their estranged relationship is interesting to read. A lot of drama there to say the least.


A part of the book that did my head in slightly was Justine’s overthinking of her problems. I actually quite like her as a character otherwise so I think this is unfortunate but she doesn’t half go on and to be honest I wouldn’t mind but some of her problems don’t seem all that big and she just seems to like moaning. It’s a pity because I like that she is a strong, open-minded, intelligent, independent woman. But a lot of those sections I could have done without. They add nothing to the story.


The great thing about the Private books is that even though it is a series, this felt like a standalone book so I would imagine even though this is the first longer-length Private book I read that each book in the series can be read in any order.


A great read which keeps you turning page after page quicker than you planned to.


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Along Came a Spider By James Patterson Review!

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Along Came a Spider (1993) by James Patterson is the first ever Alex Cross novel.


In this book, Cross is faced with the investigations into the murders of two black prostitutes and an infant child. While he is investigating, his nemesis Gary Soneji appears in the book after kidnapping two white children from affluent families called Maggie Rose and Michael Goldberg. Soneji had been working as a maths teacher at their school as a cover for his plans of kidnapping. Cross is mad about being took off the previous case and how more attention is being given to this case while the case of the two black prostitutes and the infant child are being pushed to one side.

Soon into his new case he meets the first woman who is his love interest in the books Jezzie Flannagan and they begin working together on the case. She is the head of the children’s Secret Service. It soon becomes apparent that the two children are buried alive in a farmhouse coffin. Soneji kills FBI agent Roger Graham and soon after Goldberg’s body is found. Cross is now in deep over his head in his first case featuring Gary Soneji.

This book is brilliantly put together. The main person in the kidnapping apart from Soneji I did work out but it is by no means obvious. It is a great little mystery excellently written and from this first book it is easy to see how interest was brought to this amazing series starting with book one. It’s a very addictive read which you’ll find hard to put down.

This book covers many important topics like interracial relationships with Cross’ and Flannagan’s relationship, race in general and class. In this book we get a great introduction to Cross, his family, his life, his investigating methods and his integrity as a person and in his job. The background on all the characters is great. We get very complex, rounded characters which help make the book very interesting. The plot combined with Patterson’s signature fast chapters is a wonderful read and having read other books in the series it was great to get to read how it all began.


A fantastic must-read.


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The Quickie By James Patterson And Michael Ledwidge Review!

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The Quickie (2007) by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is a wonderful and engrossing read.


Following the story of protagonist cop Lauren Stillwell, we as readers get to know her very well in both her personal and professional life. After seeing her husband Paul with a blonde woman who she thinks he might be cheating on her with she embarks on revenge by having her own affair with fellow cop Scott. But their night of passion soon turns into a nightmare when she witnesses Paul and Scott fighting before Paul puts an unconscious Scott into the boot of his car. When Scott’s body is found later Lauren is left in the unenviable position of having to go against her instincts as a person and a cop to protect her husband and their future together.


I loved the drama of this book. It was a read that kept me turning the page. The plot I found very intriguing. Instead of a cop on a case trying to find the truth, Lauren was a cop on a mission to stop the truth from coming out and you really feel the pressure she must be under throughout. I also found it really interesting reading about the human element of Lauren and Paul trying to have a baby and Lauren’s pain and struggles to get pregnant. On the downside the outcome was predictable and I think it has been done before and I did feel that Lauren was being constantly given excuses for the things she did wrong like cheating. It would have made her more human for me if she had the affair for no reason other than she wanted to. While I loved the element of her covering for Paul which created a lot of suspense, some of it was slightly contrived as there was moments where she should have been caught out really.


Despite these downsides, I really enjoyed the book. The quick pace of the short chapters helped make it unputdownable and there was many twists and turns throughout. There was great pieces in this book about unconditional love, betrayal and finding strength under difficult circumstances. A very good read.


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