By James Patterson
Review By C. Neuroticus Absolutus
From Chapter 1, Patterson draws you in like a Dyson vacuum cleaner and spins you around in the vortex of a tornado, a fast-paced, deadly mystery. Someone has kidnapped the president’s two children, a bratty older sister and a bright, younger, levelheaded boy. The daylight kidnapping from a private school provides clues that lead the first responders to a drugged out nobody. A time-wasting exercise in futility. Alex Cross, an MPD detective with experience solving a kidnapping is first called into the case, but then kept out of the loop by Homeland Security operatives. A phone call from and a meeting with the first lady leads Cross to run point on the case to find her children.
However, Patterson is not happy with one time-sensitive mystery at a time. He urgently drags the reader to witness an attack on American soil by a secret extremist Saudi sect that calls themselves The Family.
Chapter 41 begins a section called WAR. Silly me, I’d thought I'd been in World War III since Chapter 25!
But Patterson leads and I must follow.
Between the kidnapping and the extremist attacks on America, by Chapter 50, Patterson has me worn to a frazzle, raised my blood pressure 20 points and made me want to throw my work-in-progress novel in the trash. Patterson changes POV often through the book to give the reader a peek into the thoughts of the diabolic kidnapper. But only a peek. Cross knows the kidnapper is toying with him and he’s fuming. On top of that, Patterson has me so enraged at the villain, I want to reach into the pages and rip his heart out. My face reddens with anger and my carotid arteries pulse as the heartless Saudi Family runs over American lives without conscience or remorse. Their only mission is to kill, kill, kill!
Patterson’s headlong plunge through 364 pages will exhaust even the heartiest reader. Jump in and hang on. This literary rocket gets five stars.