Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Step On A Crack

Step On a Crack

Step On A Crack
James Patterson
400 pgs.
Little Brown and Co

Amazon Blurb -
Patterson and Ledwidge introduce a new hero in an exciting thriller set in the heart of Manhattan. NYPD detective Michael Bennett is concentrating on getting his family through a particularly difficult Christmas: he and his 10 adopted children are facing the loss to cancer of his brave wife, Maeve. But a major crisis calls him away: the funeral of a former First Lady at St. Patrick's Cathedral goes horribly awry when men storm the church and take hundreds of attendees hostage. Michael is asked to try to reason with a sinister man named Jack. Jack releases all but the most famous people, and makes his demands: he wants several million dollars from each celebrity hostage, including the mayor, a popular comedic actor, a beloved talk show host, and a pop starlet. Once Jack starts killing, Michael realizes he's up against a truly diabolical foe. Patterson has a knack for creating genuinely likable heroes, and Michael fits the bill. As readers rapidly turn the pages to learn how the tense hostage drama plays out, they will also be sympathizing with Michael as he faces the agonizing loss of his wife. Totally gripping and downright impossible to put down, this is a promising start to a potential new series.

Ok, this was not one of my favorites.  My hubs like it a lot more than I.  The plot really was fantastic, I liked protagonist Det. Mike Bennet, former hostage negotiator for the NYPD, liked his Grandpa Father Seamus, yes father.  When his wife passed, he joined the priesthood.  That’s where it ended for me character wise.
The plot is a massive kidnapping inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City during the First Lady’s funeral.  Hollywood and the entertainment industry’s who’s who as well as sports, Wall Str. Politicos and fashions best.  Someone called the “Neat Man” is the eyes and ears on the outside keeping the hostage takers informed of the FBI and the police’s moves.

Mike is called in as a fill in, Christmas is days away, and his wife is on her deathbed, having lost her brave battle with cancer.  Top it off with ten adopted kids and his plate is more than full.  If Patterson was trying to tug heartstrings here, I actually found all this to be beyond believable.  It was just too much and not needed.  I liked Mike, but I started getting twitchy with all the family drama.

Getting all the hostages out alive is the obvious goal.  Having these society elitists empty their bank accounts into the hostage takers off shore accounts is the ultimate prize.  Leader “Jack” has been talking with Mike.  All is going smooth till a priest is accidently killed.  It rapidly deteriorates from there.

Again, the premise was great.  I didn’t like the ringleader, he was too much of a wise ass, and the Hollywood personalities were just too stereotypical for me.  The kumbaya of his family was very predictable all they needed was the Blessed Virgin to appear and it would’ve been perfect.  If some of the b.s. was trimmed, you have a much better book right down to the surprise baddie at the end.  3 cannolis cuz the plot was a good one.

3 cannolis


  1. I like a little wise-ass though! LOL

  2. Oh I do too, I just thought it was forced and not natural.


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