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on February 7, 2007
My wife (who loves James Patterson) brought this book home on Monday and by Wednesday we both have finished reading it, and not because I could not put it down, its just there is not much there (to be fair, my loved the book). This is light weight fluff that is more a movie script than a novel. I had about given up on Patterson, but he brought me back to the table with Mary Mary, which I enjoyed very much. This book is more tear jerker than thriller. The plot's credibility is tissue paper thin, I won't be a spoiler, but it did not hold up to close scrutiny. I can't totally trash the book as I did finish it and it did keep me turning the pages, its worth three stars. If you are looking for something light you can finish in an afternoon, then this will work, but as a best seller?? Doesn't make sense.. If your looking for thrills and a plot that will test you, try the cult classic "Tourist in the Yucatan." best thriller I have read recently.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 11, 2007
Get ready, thriller fans, James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge have just introduced a new hero, and what a man he is! Michael Bennett is a NY police detective, the adoptive father of ten, and the husband of Maeve who is dying of cancer. Their Brady bunch family is rounded out by Seamus, Michael's grandfather who is a priest and Mary Catherine, the family's au pair.

Home is where their hearts are and St. Patrick's Cathedral, of all places, is where hell breaks loose. Former First Lady Caroline Hopkins has died quite unexpectedly. She was beloved by all and the list of those attending her funeral at the vaunted cathedral reads like the A-List of politicos, millionaires, sports figures, entertainers - they're all there.

Of course, security is high but that doesn't keep the minions of an evil plotter from holding some of these high profiles hostage. Ransom is demanded and just as the money is being collected a VIP is shot. The mastermind behind this astounding act kills randomly, with impunity.

Michael enters the scene as negotiator, trying to balance outwitting these ruthless men, visiting his wife in the hospital, and keeping on eye on his brood. Half thriller, half three Kleenex listen, Step On A Crack has a socko finish - totally unexpected, quite unnerving.

Tony Award and Drama Desk nominee Reg Rogers and John Slattery bring all to life from the heartless villains to the good guys, young and old. They're well paired as a narrating team with voices that complement as they reflect a range of emotions from tough to tender, frightened to brave.

Expect to hear more adventures in the life of Michael Bennett, he's a likable and affecting hero.

- Gail Cooke
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on August 7, 2016
Did you know that James Patterson was once in advertising? So he knows branding and marketing. He also knows a great deal about franchising and production. That is, creating highly digestible books and whole series (with the help of co-authors). Patterson is now offering masterclasses that share and teach his particular form of writing.

Stephen King once said, “I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.” If that is the case then Patterson is a bucket of the Colonel’s chicken. You get what you want and you know exactly how it is going to come and there is lots of it. In short, he has a formula…his own 11 herbs and spices:

In this start to the NYC Detective Michael Bennett series, we meet the father of ten adopted kids. That was more his wife’s doing then his but Bennett is an “aw shucks” kind of hostage negotiator guy. He loves them all and his wife is dying. Patterson subscribes to the adage…truth is stranger fiction. Somehow though his characters’ backstories are just too much. This is the certainly the case with Bennett.

In terms of plot, I really enjoyed the scenario and action. We have an over-the-top hostage crisis and some intriguing bad guys. Unfortunately, the famous hostages are cartoonish and draw on real celebrities. The resolution was strong as well. Overall, a fine criminal thriller, however, I do not feel compelled to follow Bennett any further.
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on June 13, 2016
Very good book. This is the best I have read from James Patterson/Michael Ledwidge so far. Very credible story with a human side to it. I saw some pretty harsh critics here. I agree that we have to be careful when considering James Patterson's books; the quality varies a lot. But this one, to me, was a page turner.
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on February 10, 2012
love it, can't put it down. I would be a good movie, Actually all Patterson books should be movies, Like Kiss the Girls, I will never get that brilliant book out of my head
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on November 27, 2013
I have read all but 2 of this series from James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, I enjoyed the books, a mixture of family and mystery, Michael Bennett has his hands full.
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on November 11, 2013
I am a new James Patterson fan - started with I, Michael Bennett and loved it so much I went back to start the series at the beginning !
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on September 23, 2013
Love, love, love all JP books (except for the Maximum Ride series, can't stand the MRs)! Glad JP has so many published books.
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on May 26, 2015
A relatively average read. Certainly not his best publication.
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on March 14, 2015
excellent, can't put it down
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