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The 5th Horseman Paperback – 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
At the San Francisio Muncipal Hospital, people have been receiving the wrong medication which induces a heart attack. The latest victim to this string of "accidents" is Yuki Castellano's mother Keiko, who suddenly collapses. After she's taken to the medical hospital, she's given the wrong medication and suddenly dies. Just like several others. Lindsay Boxer decides it's time to investigate. It's been happening too much to be just an accident.
It isn't such a bad book. For the most part, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat. If you like fast-paced movie-like books, The 5th Horseman is perfect. It instantly grabs your attention and takes you away.
Again, however, this book is plagued by what just about every James Patterson book is plagued with these days. Where's the meat? The substance? There's a lot of plot, but what about characters and steady pace? The book, like many of his previous books, moves much faster than it has to. And because it moves so fast, there's little time to feel for these characters.
Look at it like this, Yuki Castellano was introduced in 4th of July, the previous book (which was much better than this one). We learned very little about her. Here, her mother is introduced right after the prologue. When the mother dies, Patterson tries to make us feel sorry for Yuki Castellano. And I probably would've if I actually KNEW Yuki. The reader doesn't feel for these characters anymore. Lindsay Boxer is perhaps the only character who gets developed. But the other characters of the Women's Murder Club (who ARE major characters) receive very little. Being stuck with these characters for 400 pages calls for some kind of development for these otherwise, underdeveloped characters.
The overall plot is pretty good, at least. Like I said, you'll be on the edge of your seat, but again, it feels very movie like. Everything happens so fast that there are times when the reader is left behind.
If I were to write a letter to James Patterson, I'd tell him to slow down. Ever since he began pumping out four or five books a year he's had to call on numerous co-authors, and his books have gotten shorter, despite them being 400 pages long (as many reviewers have pointed out, the formatting makes it that way). And along with being shorter, they're moving faster. Not only do things happen unrealistically fast, but they become unbelievable, and his characters are beginning to suffer as a result.
The 5th Horseman is a good book, but it lacks substance. Put simple, there's no character development anymore, and nothing falls into place logically. It's time Patterson slow down a little. Take time to flesh out his characters and his stories. He's established his credibility as a writer, it would be a shame for him to ruin it. I don't know about you, but I like a few spices on my book... the kind of spices that make me glad to be with these characters. The kind that make me say, "I sure hope nothing bad happens to her!" It's not here.
This is a fast, fun, fine installment in an easy-read series, perfect for brainless beach reading. A good friend of mine noted that she was able to read it in half the time it usually takes for a book this size, because many of the chapters are about a page and a half long, and the chapter title pages start in the middle of the actual page. The book could have been easily printed in about half as many pages, so it's not even as "weighty" as its actual weight.
But, come on. We knew that going in. You're probably not going to start reading this series on the fifth book, so we all know what we're getting by now. Enjoy it! Wait for the paperback or go to the library if you feel cheated by the fluff in hardback form. Granted, this is not the James Patterson of Along Came a Spider, but again, you should expect that in this series by now. If you already like the series, you'll like the book - if you don't like the series, there's nothing new for you here. If you haven't read the series yet, start at the beginning and then decide.