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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Library Reads: James Patterson's Mistress

James Patterson co-writes with David Ellis on what has to be his 100th book now. For hardcore fans of Patterson it's one of his more enjoyable ones, and for those who don't like him, or you're giving his books a first try then you might want to hop over this one. It has some good moments, and some catchy twists, but the writing is very rushed and moments of the story sidetracks you. It's just like someone was in a frantic rush to give the character personality without ever making him seem real.

Summary: Ben is a reporter, but he's not like any other man. He's obsessed with certain thoughts that regard previous presidents, movie trivia, and his childhood tragedies. It doesn't help to put the death of as woman he has strong feelings for on that list of things that he can't stop thinking about. Diana Hotchkiss' has a mysterious death, and Ben can't help but want to invest his reporting skills into investigating her death. What he finds is a tangled secret life he was unaware of, but his feelings for her continue to press him on even with the threat of his life.


Characters: The characters are good for a fast paced novel, but they aren't very in depth, and what sort of stinks is that it seems like the authors were trying to stretch them to deeper depths. Ben has an obsession where he constantly thinks about certain facts and movie trivia, that honestly just doesn't mesh into the novel very well. It was a huge distraction for me from the story. It also didn't develop Ben's personality any further as it had no place. Diana may be the most interesting character, but only because we don't know what she was wrapped up in. Since the the chapters are so short though it leaves a lot of the characters feeling that their stories are short done.

Writing: The writing is great if you want a quick read. I didn't find it all that intriguing in some parts though, and unlike some other Patterson novels I feel he's lost his touch with creating a compelling character and narrative that can be good even if it's not the best written. With this novel though a lot of the times the voices of the characters never felt that different. Ben's voice could have felt like all the women's and other male character voices in the novel. I don't like it when authors co write either. It loses a personal touch that comes when an author gives his own work life.

Plot: It did take me longer than it usually would to get through a Patterson book. The good news for Ellis is that he won't get the focus for whether you dislike this book, but also won't get the focus if you do like it. There are some strong points of the novel like how the book does weave in surprising relationships to the plot. I just thought the political thriller part wasn't much my style. If you enjoy a good political thriller though this one does have all the scandals and action involved to keep it a bit on the shocking side.

Mistress is not the worst from Patterson, nor the best. It's sort of halfway to where you wish he would get back to. Maybe producing two books a year just makes you lose your touch? I felt the personality was a bit forced of Ben, but you do have to wonder where this book is going as you're reading, and that is what kept me reading.

Rating 6.5 of 10.


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