Most helpful positive review
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Patterson and Paetro fulfill all the requirements for a very good novel
on January 10, 2011
Even well established authors need to fulfill several check list items to have a good mystery novel. These include likeable or at least interesting characters, a suspenseful, well-developed, fast-moving plot, and good writing that holds the reader's interest. James Patterson and Maxine Paetro fulfill these requirements. This is the eighth novel that Paetro wrote wth Patterson, six of which were in the acclaimed Women's Murder Club series.
There are, as is usual in many Patterson books, three main plot lines. Jack Morgan is an Afghanistan veteran and war hero. His father, a crook and murderer is killed in prison, but before his death he gives Jack fifteen million dollars to run an investigative firm that he started and ran down. Jack restarts the firm "Private" and together with many experts in many criminological fields turns it into an extremely lucrative and respected business. The people who work for him are interesting characters.
The first plot centers on the death of a beautiful woman who Jack once dated, who is married to his best friend. She is shot in the head and chest. The police are convinced that her husband shot her. He turns to Jack for help. Although very wealthy this friend has been skimming money from people who gave him funds to invest for them.
The second plot is the freakish murder of young girls, twelve as the novel opens, each murder done differently. The mayor receives an untraceable email claiming credit for the bizarre deeds, signed "Steemcleena." The email proves knowledge of the crimes by telling the mayor where the items taken from the last victim can be found. Our authors tell us who committed the last murder, but neither the police nor Jack's firm, who the police hired to help them pro bono, know this. They also do not know that there was more than a single murderer involved.
The third major plot is a gambling fix in the NFL football league. While there is no clear evidence, quite a few games had been lost during the past two years that shouldn't have been lost. Jack's uncle and two other men, NFL owners, hire the firm to find out what is happening.
Then there are lesser plots, such as the phone calls that Jack receives threatening to kill him, the mob boss who insists that Jack take his case even though Jack refuses to work for crooks, Jack's twin brother owing $600,000 to the mob, Jack's nagging feeling that there is something about his heroic act in Afghanistan that he should be remembering, his recurrent nightmares, and, of course, the de rigueur love problems.