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Tick Tock (Michael Bennett) Hardcover – January 24, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
For the uninitiated, Michael Bennett is a New York City police detective who is a widower and father of 10. His grandfather Seamus is a crusty customer who happens to be a Catholic priest, one whose soul is firmly planted in the spiritual world but who is very much able to offer practical advice for material and physical concerns as well. The day-to-day management of the household and the children is overseen by Mary Catherine, an Irish nanny (of course) who somehow manages to be working toward her degree even as she accomplishes the task of herding the Bennett children with great aplomb.
Over the course of the series (of which the newly published TICK TOCK is the fourth installment), Mary Catherine has managed to attract the not-unwelcome attentions of her employer, notwithstanding the fact that the guy is 1) a really slow mover, and 2) clueless in matters of affairs of the heart, even for a hapless male. This setup would be perfect for a lighthearted television drama about a dedicated cop balancing family and professional duties. But what would give it a hard TV-MA rating is the graphic violence. It's the contrast between the professional and personal elements of Bennett's life that makes these books winners.
I have been pounding the drum for a while now to alert readers that Patterson, either writing singly or in collaboration with another author, creates and presents some of the most frightening villains one is likely to find. This is particularly true in TICK TOCK.Read more ›
Every time I swear off Patterson forever, one of his books is offered free. So it is with Tick Tock which had a free preorder several months ago. The setup is fairly typical, with a serial killer recreating the murders of famous NYC serial killers. You may remember this plot line from the film "Copycat" which was made nearly two decades ago.
Our hero is Michael Bennett, a single father with 10 adopted children. The children are of all races and genders, however none of them are real characters. Often they are just a list of names on a page. They may as well be called "older boy number 3" for as much as they are developed.
Running parallel to the serial killer portion of the book is a family drama which is painful to read. The only reason it is included is to pad the book out to novel length instead of a novella. It involves the vacationing Bennett family fighting with bullies. These young teenagers apparently are well versed in wordplay and racial slurs, not to mention the Rainbow Coalition, a group that hasn't been particularly relevant in their lifetime.
As usual, there is a speckling of awkwardly shoehorned in pop culture references that distract from the proceedings as well.
As for the thriller itself, it is fairly standard, featuring the predictable Patterson switch where a new character is introduced to throw you off. There is also the almost sadistic pleasure taken in describing the murders. Also a fairly lame love triangle between Bennett, a FBI agent and his live in nanny.
As a final insult, the final scene between Bennett and the serial killer ends in a truly silly manner. Overall it is just not a satisfying effort.
Lots of actions, truly despicable criminals and a somewhat too positive portrayal of life with ten children. Although some quibble with a large family with no serious problems, I know many large families that are similar to his. Since Patterson views children as backdrops (read the Cross novels), it is not surprising that the children's characters are rather superficially drawn.
I enjoyed the book, read it in two days despite having a full time job.
Tick Tock, on the other hand features Mike Bennett a New York City policeman - a widower like Cross - living in a large size Manhattan apartment with a family that he has assembled through adoption. The bad guy in this book rivals the bad guys in the Alex Cross books and is capable of the same unspeakable types of acts. A subtle and nascent romance with the nanny adds a dash of spice as Bennett races against time to find the perp. While a nascent romance at the same time with a FBI partner threatens to split Bennett's affections and heart into two.
The plot moves along at a rapid pace, in true Patterson style but the hand and writing style of Michael Ledwidge also pokes out now and then. I am not sure that the Patterson franchise bringing in new authors to partner with the master is altogether bad as my initial thought was when I started to buy collaboration works. I read the book in a two day time frame reading evenings and into the night. I recommend the book without reservations.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy reading the Michael Bennett books. I like the character being a nice decent family guy with morals. He doesn't look for trouble. Trouble finds him.Published 10 days ago by Florida Reader
These are fairly short books with consistent characters, but fairly varied themes and enough interesting NY descriptions to recognize and feel the scenarios.Published 1 month ago by Susan
Best Michael Bennett yet! The bad guy in this book makes all the other bad guys look like saints. Good read!Published 1 month ago by Brian