Top females on Hollywood's A-list are being murdered in a particularly vicious manner. The details of each killing make it clear that the motives are entirely personal. After each killing (and in one case almost during the killing itself), the murderer sends an e-mail to a Hollywood entertainment writer gloating about the murder and virtually daring the police to come and get her. Yes, you read that correctly ... "HER"! The e-mails are all signed "Mary Smith"! Top FBI Agent Alex Cross, much to his chagrin and to the disappointment of his children and his long-suffering grandmother, is pulled away from a well-deserved Disneyland holiday with his family and ordered to act as a consultant to the LAPD on the case.
Admittedly, there's nothing about "Mary, Mary" that will elevate it beyond the ranks of enjoyable brain candy thriller to the status of literature. But it is worth noting that unlike the outrageously weak fare that we suffered through in "London Bridges", "Mary, Mary" seems to be a long awaited return to the quality of thriller that justifiably vaulted James Patterson onto best seller lists around the world. We're treated to an enjoyable plot that moves along with compelling page-turning speed. Alex Cross, in the manner of Inspector Rebus, Harry Bosch and all of the other loner cops in mystery and thriller literature successfully marches to the rhythm of his own drummer. We are also witness to some realistic character development as we watch the relationship with his current squeeze, Jamilla, go down in flames and we hurt with him as he is hauled into a nasty court custody battle for his beloved son, Alex. And our heart aches as Patterson gives us a wrenching example of the trials of a complete mental breakdown!
Literature? No. Brain Candy? Yes. Memorable? Not particularly. Enjoyable? Absolutely! Highly recommended.