Monday, January 11, 2010

#BookReview: Swimsuit - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

"I know things I don't want to know." So begins the latest from James Patterson and his Women's Murder Club collaborator, Maxine Paetro. In a story that veers far off course from anything previously released by Paetro, readers are introduced to a psychopath, the likes of which haven't been since Patterson's character, Kyle Craig, Alex Cross' former FBI colleague.

A man of many names and many faces, Henri Benoit is on a killing spree that takes him from the United States to Amsterdam. When a model from the Midwest goes missing while on a photo shoot in Hawaii the police are convinced that her former boyfriend and current stalker, a professional football player, has something to do with it. Her parents aren't so sure, especially after they receive a late night phone call that, "Kim has fallen into bad hands."

Arriving in Hawaii to search for their daughter, the parents meet former detective turned reporter, Ben Hawkins. Feeling that the local police aren't doing enough to find their daughter, the McDaniels turn to Ben for assistance. Ben's efforts to find Kim's killer leads him to Marco the limo driver, Charlie Rollins the photographer, and Nils Bjorn the arms dealer; all of whom turn out to be Henri Benoit. Though he's a psychopath, Henri isn't killing just for fun. He's being paid by the Alliance, wealthy men and women spanning the globe, who enjoy watching murders.

Delighted that he has Ben's attention, Henri has an interesting proposition for him. Write his life story and he may let him live. The story that Henri tells will leave you absolutely speechless.

I really enjoyed this book. Unlike a lot of Patterson's latest books, it's not predictable. Though other reviewers have said that it's too graphic, I don't think it's any more graphic than his other novels.

At one point in the book Ben asks Henri why he wants the book written. Henri responds, "If you're half the writer I think you are, if you're half the cop you used to be, you'll figure out why I want to do this book. I think you'll be surprised." I'm no cop or a writer, so I'm still trying to figure it out. Do I smell a new series or, at the very least, a sequel?
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