There are few books by James Patterson that I would give fewer than 5 stars. He always blows my mind. Black Market is good, but it takes time for even a great writer like Patterson to become a true master. This book was published in 1986. Patterson fans, like me, who love his books because he pulls absolutely no punches may be somewhat frustrated when he pulls the punches a little here. Also, Arch Carroll is an interesting and sympathetic character, but I don't feel the reader gets to get inside of him like you do with Alex Cross. I kept wanting to know this guy better; I even wanted to know the bad guy better, even if I wound up hating him, like Gary Soneji. In Black Market, the admittedly fascinating plot is king. In a world full of plot-masters, I love Patterson's books because the plots are great, but character is king. Black Market is certainly a book to read for Patterson fans, as long as they understand that it feels like at this point in his career he may have been still developing the fabulous style that makes him absolutely tops today.