This book was sent to me by Random House India in exchange for an honest review
This was the second book by James Patterson that I have read in the past few months and, contrary to my first brush with his work, this one really lived up to its claims of being a ‘thrilling fast-paced’ read.
The book cover remains true to the theme of the book, depicting a woman obscured by smoke and shadows on a background of red. Its simple and sends a clear message to the reader about what they might expect to find in the book, which is what a good book cover must do. It was way better than the book cover on his last book that I read with a photograph of a hunky agent complete with shades superimposed on a collage of a city by night with choppers in the air.
The story revolves around an FBI agent, Emmy Dockery, who lost her sister to a terrible accident a few months ago and in the process of investigating her death uncovered the carefully concealed footprints of a serial killer. Nobody believes her, thinking her to be a simply grieving sister, and she is being pushed out of her job in a polite and very bureaucratic way. To top it all, she has a sleazy boss who deserves a nice kick to his nether regions and also holds the key to her entry back into the FBI and getting an investigation started, the story of so many working women in the world. She turns towards her old flame for help, whose heart she broke and who has the ear of the director of the FBI. Once she has the attention of the top brass she must then prove to them that the completed unrelated and ‘accidental’ deaths occurring all over the country are actually related and must be investigated.
I liked the story. I started flipping through it and then couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. The story begins its fast-paced track right from the first chapter and you are hooked. The main protagonist is persistent and not very screwed-up, which make her an almost likable character. Her research and her obsession make sense and the follow-through is perfect. Several chapters written from the killer’s perspective are suitably chilling and blend seamlessly into the narrative.
Her love life though is absolutely irritating. The typical girl meets boy, falls in love, boys proposes, girl says no due to her commitment issues, break-up happens, after a few months/years, girl comes to boy for help, boy agrees because he still holds a candle for her, sparks-sparks, girl again withdraws, boy becomes grumpy, boy leaves, girl in life-threatening situation, boy makes last-minute entry, girl realises the value of love, all is well. Phew! Why? This ‘I love you but I am damaged and thus I must leave you until you come to me on your knees and take all my bullshit and I finally give in’ formula followed by the movies and modern romances just chips away my good humour. Thankfully, the love affair does not overwhelm the story which makes it all better.
Must read for all thriller fans.