Wednesday, March 30, 2005

James Patterson's Honeymoon

29 March '05

"Honeymoon", James Patterson & Howard Roughan. Copyright 2005. 390 pages.

I like James Patterson's Alex Cross series. Let me say this up front. I like the characters, the situations and Patterson's handling of it all a lot. I read them in a few hours' time. I think Morgan Freeman has done a swell job of bringing Alex Cross to life -- but I've not seen any movie Freeman is in that hasn't benefitted from his presence.

So. With that out of the way, let's begin. "Honeymoon" is written w/ a coauthor, Howard Roughan, and between the two, they managed to hook me in what was going on around page 101 thanks to a very crooked twist in the plot.

In a nutshell, "Honeymoon" is a story of a Black Widow and the P.I. determined to catch her. Of course, he does the 'unthinkable'. He becomes obsessed with catching her -- and then, with the woman herself. And of course, why wouldn't he? Nora -- like most of Patterson's female characters is GORGEOUS. She is BRIGHT. She has IMPECCABLE MANNERS and DRESSES WELL. And get this, she is a FABULOUSLY SUCCESSFUL INTERIOR DESIGNER.

Well, shit, guys. No wonder she turns to crime. Her life is too fucking perfect, her habit of murdering fiances and husbands notwithstanding.

And the story is neither fish nor fowl. Told from first person as well as third, "HONEYMOON" is not a murder mystery. We know who is doing what and so does everyone but her victims. It's not a procedural, so to speak. It's not an intense knucklebiting rollercoaster of a read. It's not drama, nor is it -- despite the witticisms of a couple of characters -- a comedy.

I usually read the Alex Cross novels in a couple of days, or if I have time, at one sitting. A couple or so hours. I do this with most novels. So consider this. I became interested as I mentioned at page 101 and decided to stick it out. Page 283, I put the book down for a couple of days. Then I picked it back up. Then I finished it and on page -- the last one -- 390, I put the book down, feeling like I'd been had.

Mmmm. I think Patterson should keep his own counsel. It would've been interesting to see where he alone would have taken this -- then again, Howard Roughan may have been Honeymoon's saving grace. We'll never know.


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