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Swimsuit Hardcover – June 29, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A serial killer with an urge to break into print propels this thriller from bestseller Patterson and collaborator Paetro (4th of July). Ben Hawkins, a former L.A. cop turned reporter and author, travels to Hawaii to look into the disappearance of model Kim McDaniels, who has fallen victim to a sadistic fiend who calls himself Henri Benoit. Ben meets with Kim's distraught parents, but the investigation soon runs into dead ends, even as the body count rises. Back in Los Angeles, Henri gets in touch with Ben, and offers the story of his life and the reasons he continues with his murderous spree. As part of the deal, Henri asks the reporter to write his tell-all book. Ben can't refuse given the killer's threat to his life as well as his girlfriend's. In just one of many clever twists, Henri proves to be the consummate storyteller. Patterson fans will devour this one in a single sitting.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Patterson never, and I mean never, disappoints."―Larry King, USA TODAY

"James Patterson is king of the bestseller hill."―Publishers Weekly

"Patterson has mastered the art of writing page-turning bestsellers."―Chicago Sun-Times

"The Man Who Can't Miss."―Lev Grossman, Time

"When it comes to construction a harrowing plot, author James Patterson can turn a screw all right."―New York Daily News

"America's #1 storyteller."―Forbes

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (June 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316018775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316018777
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (471 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

242 of 262 people found the following review helpful By Mitzi Gee on June 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this via audio book and honestly, it was NOT the best Patterson book. As a matter of fact, if that had been my first Patterson book, I wouldn't have gone back for more. The book is basically broken into 3 parts.

The first third we are treated to horrendous descriptions of rape, torture and decapitation. Much too graphic and much too disgusting for just casual reading. The killer is pretty good because he's so rutheless, but some of the people that end up killed are just so unexpected and seem like we wasted time getting to know them only to have them murdered within the first third of the book.

The second third of the book is a cat and mouse type situation between the killer and the novelist.

The final third is more cat and mouse between the killer, the novelist and an underground group. And then *POOF* its all wrapped up in a neat little bow and its done. The ending was such a cop-out I was shocked. I kept thinking that maybe I didn't have the complete audio book because as I was nearing the end so much was still going on and still unanswered. But of course, the epilogue wrapped it all up and stuffed it in a box.

So I suffered through the must vile descriptions of murder and barely anything really happened and then it was over. I was disappointed, to say the least.
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104 of 125 people found the following review helpful By C.Wallace VINE VOICE on June 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Quite possibly, you'll see this book next to a towel and sunscreen. You'll see someone on a chaise lounge with a cold drink nearby. And they'll be reading this book at poolside or on a stretch of beach.

They'll be reading about Henri Benoit, master of disguise and master of disaster, one of the most sinister characters in contemporary fiction. He murders people due to a vicious inner compulsion and for the big bucks his super-rich clients pay him. These clients enjoy watching people who are brutalized and murdered. Henri films his murders and disseminates the film via the Internet.

The book has a lot of graphically described lust. A lot of graphically described violence. There's crude language. The authors, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, set much of the story in exclusive hotels. Fine wine, fine food; and, often, rotten people.

The plot spins off of the kidnapping of a beautiful young swimsuit model who has journeyed to Hawaii for a photo shoot. Her fate and the frantic fears of her parents launch the tale.

It's certainly a quick read. The prose flows very well, particularly the bit set in the trailer in the middle of the forbidding Joshua Tree National Park. It took me about ten hours of fairly concentrated reading to finish the novel.

Some of it is goofy. Much of it doesn't make a lot of sense: an L.A. Times reporter/failing novelist/fired cop is coerced to put together a soulless killer's autobiography. Sure....

But I don't think people will buy this book because they want a scholarly treatise on the criminal mind. People who buy this book are not looking for airtight logic. They want a little escape. Readers get to go to Hawaii, Paris, Amsterdam, and the Swiss Alps. Eat exotic food with names they can't pronounce. That sort of thing.
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125 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on July 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I must preface this review by saying that I have read every book by James Patterson. Some were really good ie Along Came a Spider and Sail some were OK ie like Beach Road and The Jericho Commandment, some were even sweet ie Sam's Letters to Jennifer and Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas and then there are some all time bombs like The Jester and SWIMSUIT. Now, I must also say that I am from a generation of readers who were taught and then expected to finish every book they begin BUT I got over that a long time ago and thank goodness I did.

Now, a funny thing happened to me on the way to reading this book. To begin with I was in the midst of reading another book when I was notified by the library that this reserved book was waiting for me. I immediately put down the other book, ran to the library and began reading Swimsuit last night. It doesn't take much to get into Patterson's books and I managed to finish 100 pages before going to sleep. This morning I woke up to this niggling family that something was not all together right in my reading world. I thought about this a bit and then finally admitted to myself that I was terribly BORED with this title. Gratutitous violence, poorly presented characters and a plot which goes round and round is hardly ever my thing and I was beginning to think about closing this title. But I must also admit that I suffer from reader's guilt and wasn't ready to throw in the towel quite yet so I decided to do something I rarely do until I finish a book and that was to read some of the reviews and I found myself agreeing with the reviews and have now invoked a reader's right to close the book and return it to the library.

Now, I'm not about to give up on Mr. Patterson.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Durling Heath on August 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When a book written by a premier author requires the kind of promotions budget that "Swimsuit" has, I wonder whether the publisher believed it produced too many copies of a pedestrian effort.

James Patterson's latest follows the story of Ben Hawkins, a best-selling author, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and former Seattle police officer. Hawkins reports on the story of a missing supermodel on location in Hawaii for the swimsuit edition for a popular sports magazine. Hawkins' investigative instincts get the better of him as he discovers the model has been murdered by a serial killer who uses the name, Henri Benoit.

It turns out that Benoit is one sick puppy. A master of disguise, Benoit has actually been retained to make a series of snuff films for a group of similarly sick, but very wealthy puppies to whom Benoit refers to as the "Peepers." The Peepers actually call themselves "The Alliance." After Benoit kills a couple of the swimsuit models, a 12-year old girl, and the parents of the one of the models in Hawaii in particularly gruesome ways, he realizes Hawkins is on his trail. Rather than kill Hawkins, however, Benoit enlists Hawkins to write his biography. In the words a famous big-screen character spoke more than three decades ago, Benoit made Hawkins "an offer he could not refuse."

Maxine Paetro, who "co-wrote" The Women's Murder Club books with Patterson also collaborated on "Swimsuit." I have to assume that Paetro wrote most or all of "Swimsuit" because it seems to lack some of the sharpness and wit found in some of Patterson's earlier novels. In fact, the writing seems mechanical and unimaginative, which starkly contrasts the potentially engaging premise.
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