Gone – James Patterson


This book was provided to me courtesy of Random House India in return for an honest review

A truck idles along a dark suburban street, and pulls up under the shadow of a large oak. For a few minutes there is complete silence but for the comforting sounds of night crickets ( or whatever those night-time creatures are called ). Suddenly, a group of some 25 black-clad individuals jump out of the truck and rush toward the tall walls of a palatial home some 15 feet away, soundlessly throw ropes with grapple hooks and shimmy across the walls. A few muted flashes are the only signs of activity within the walls. Who are these people? The police? Or an elite mercenary task force? Ta da da daaah!

This is how most of the novel reads to me. It is strongly reminiscent of how I would imagine a screenplay for an action movie reading right from page 1; and once that idea got into my head it just refused to walk out again. The story revolves around Detective Bennett, father to a brood of 10 children, who once captured a dreaded mafia boss and then watched him escape, is currently in hiding under the witness protection program and has just been recalled to active duty to look for the same criminal who has now managed to create havoc by sending armies of mercenaries into the US and Mexico and eluded all the best investigatory forces of the United states.

I absolutely failed to detect any charm in the entire narrative and considering that it was part of the April book-bag and it is now June, one can understand the pain and the sheer determination it took me to finish this book. The dialogues are short and staccato and the story never really flows with any degree of effortlessness. The plot was unnecessarily forced and better fit for an episode of Miami LAPD. The love interests were presented with absolutely zero chemistry and  I knew from the cover itself that this was not going to be my kind of read (alright, maybe that last bit is too judgmental).  But really, when I pick up a series from a well-known author, I usually expect the book to be worth my while. To be so severely disappointed sorely tests my nerves. I think this a sad case of an author pandering to a menu for the sake of a 10-book contract without worrying over much about the content of their writing.

My humble advice, please stop. Either kill the character off or just take a break and write standalone novels for a bit. Michael Bennett needs a rest.


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