Some James Patterson readers just cannot understand why his early books are actually very good. But they are...
James Patterson's early books are gems to be savoured as they are some of the few example of him when he actually wrote GOOD prose, before he began churning them out like Danielle Steele just for a few more bucks. The prose in his latest books is unashamedly simplistic and shallow, and completely lacks any kind of depth. here, at least, his prose is far better.
And, the story looses absolutely nothing. It is still very suspenseful, pageturning, etc. All the things for which Patterson is best known. The good writing takes absolutely nothign away from the excitement and overall quality of the plot and even, at times, adds to it.
The plot itself is strong (if rather unrealistic...but then, we do not look to Patterson for realism) and much better developed than those of his latest books. The characters are also more well-drawn (still not good...but character development has never been one of his grest strength, unless of course you're talking about the villains in his first three Cross thrillers.) It's also a book which puts forward lots of moral issues, and probably plays around with yourbeliefes and conceptions about what is good and what is bad. I.e. the villains are not who at first we think they are, but they are an altogether different group of people whom we feel a great empathy for.
There are still twists aplenty throughout the book, and it powers along with the speed and inevitability of a freight train. The climax is great, and the relationship between Alix and David touching (although its not quite understandable how David so quickly gets over the death of his wife)
If only James Patterson would go back to this style. Good writing AND a great plot...now, there's something to look out for from JP.