Book Review - 113 Minutes

by James Patterson with Max DiLallo (Book Shots) ISBN: 978-1-786-53041-7

The school has called Molly – it is an emergency and her son is in trouble. As she races to school, she expects the worst. But Molly is too late - her son has died from a drug overdose. She is determined to find the person who gave him the drugs and killed her son. Evidence points in one direction. 

The problem is that Molly has no money and her farm is about to be repossessed. With the help of her brothers, she robs banks and manages to pay off her debts and begins the hunt to confront the killer. The problem is that Special Agent Mason Randolph is investigating the bank robberies and Molly may spend the rest of her life in jail. Time is important. 

Patterson’s stories ‘at the speed of life’ are easy to read, and perfect for holiday getaways. Although the ending of this thriller was unpredictable but when I did reach it, I was disappointed. 

Ulrike Hill


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Book Review - Never Never

by James Patterson and Candice Fox (Century) ISBN: 978-1-78-089544-4 

Candice Fox is billed as one of Australia's best crime writers. This is her first collaboration with James Patterson. It was my first James Patterson co-authored novel. I wasn't blown away. For a crime thriller, the story took too long to unfold and the short chapters did little to create tension. A lack of any discernible difference between the three different viewpoints through which the story is told didn't help. 

Sydney sex-crimes detective, Harriet (Harry) Blue, is quickly shipped off to the outback – the never never – by her boss after her brother is accused of and arrested for the murders of at least three women. The emotionally volatile Harry is partnered with a detective also running from personal matters. They're sent to investigate the disappearance of a miner. But things at the mine are not as they first appear. 

As they dig deeper, they discover a militant environmental group that sabotages mine equipment; a drug lord with a temper and penchant for violence; prostitutes with information for sale; more missing miners and mine bosses more concerned with profit than human life. It's an uninspired race-against-the-clock to catch the perpetrator. 

Liesl Williams


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Book Review - Bullseye

by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge (Century) ISBN 978-1-78-089273-3

Michael Bennett returns in this action-packed story, this time to stop an assassination attempt on the US president. 

Similar to most of the stories in the series, Mike showcases his incredible detective skills as, together with the NYPD, he goes on a hunt to not only prevent the assassination attempt, but to figure out exactly who is behind it. With many more characters than normal, I was confused as suspects kept changing and people were cleared. As he delves deeper, he discovers that a couple might actually be behind the assassination attempt. 

There isn’t much movement in Bennett’s family drama, or further clarification in his on/off relationship with Mary Catherine. However the subplot line does offer some insight into the older children. 

Although the ending felt rather abrupt, as if things weren’t wrapped up properly, it left me waiting eagerly for the next mission. 

Bullseye is an overall good read for Michael Bennett fans. 

Alicia Sibanda


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Book Review - 15th Affair

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Century) ISBN: 9781780892900 

15th Affair is the latest in the Woman’s Murder Club series from James Patterson. 

Detective Lindsay Boxer is the lead investigator on a quadruple murder at a luxury hotel in San Francisco.  She uncovers a web of deceit and deception that interjects with the previous life of her husband Joe, a life he promised he had left behind. 

As Lindsay works at tying the pieces of this puzzle together, a second calamity befalls her beloved city - an atrocious act of terrorism that impacts thousands of people. When Lindsay discovers that the two incidents are linked, she sets in motion a series of events that put her directly in the sights of an unknown enemy. Adding to her stress is the fact that Joe has disappeared and seems to be implicated in both events. 

While Lindsay works with her friends to unravel the lies and expose the true criminals, she fears that she is also unravelling her own marriage as Joe begins to seem more and more like a suspect. 

Riveting and compelling, with a realistic portrayal of human relationships and betrayal, 15th Affair is a well-written story masterfully told by Patterson and Paetro. 

Merissa Himraj


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Book Review - NYPD Red 4

by James Patterson & Marshall Karp (Century) ISBN 9781780892771

Max Bassett has designed an exquisite necklace for the famous movie star, Elena Travers for premiere of her new movie. There is a gun blast and a white Cadillac swerves out of control into an NYPD traffic van, and then straight into the searchlights which are lighting up the night. Elena is dead. 

NYPD Red is the elite task force that serves the rich and famous. Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are assigned to investigate the murder. Who is behind it and what is the motive? Two suspects emerge but there is more to discover. Meanwhile there is another case to pursue at the same time. Plus Zach and Kylie have their own personal issues. 

NYPD Red has a difficult task. They risk their lives but tirelessly forge ahead. Their quest involves people from Manhattan's Underworld to rich celebrities. There is a cold-blooded killer out there who must be stopped before he strikes again. 

If you like crime stories you will like this one. I did not find it all that engaging. It had a slow start, and is more of a traditional police procedural than a thriller. 

Dawn Blankfield


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Book Review - House of Robots: Robots Go Wild!

by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein (Young Arrow) ISBN: 9780099568292

This is the second book in the House of Robots series by James Patterson and collaborator Chris Grabenstein (I Funny). 

Sammy Hayes-Rodrigues lives with robots. Robots that fly, mop, garden and make breakfast, all built by his computer-science-professor mom. His mom creates E (short for Egghead), a robot that can go to school for Sammy’s sister Maddie, who is housebound by a severe immune disorder. 

Sammy has to take E to school with him, and he thinks this is a huge mistake. E turns out to be a hit, both at school and for Maddie. She really loves school through her substitute robot. E is such a hit that an old school friend of Sammy’s mom builds a similar robot that comes to school too. That is when things start going awry for E and Sammy. E suspiciously malfunctions and the situation turns disastrous for the whole family as he goes haywire.

It is up to Sammy to figure out why and save his family from disaster. 

The book is full of illustrations by Juliana Nuefeld (Treasure Hunters). My eleven-year-old son found it an exciting read; he finished it in record time. 

Ewa Fabris

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Book Review - Private Vegas

by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Century) IBSN 0781780890203

Private Vegas is one of three in the series of Private novels which James Patterson has co-written with Maxine Paetro. Short chapters take you on a fast paced journey from one action scene to the next. The pages of this book are filled with murder, crime and corruption. 

Jack Morgan, the head of Private Investigations, has his hands full. LAPD need assistance to catch a pair of slippery Foreign Diplomats wanted on multiple rape charges. His quick-tempered friend is charged with attempted murder. His car is firebombed outside his house. A young girl dies in a similar incident. His underhanded twin brother is up to no good again. 

He suspects that his ex, whom he is casually involved with, is seeing someone on the side. A wealthy client confesses to killing his pretty little young wife and demands that Jack make it go away. His personal assistant runs into trouble while undercover to expose a moneymaking marriage scam. 

There is never a dull moment in this action packed page turner. 

Maria Vosloo


Jack Morgan head of Private Investigations is being pushed to the limit. His car has been firebombed, his ex is dating someone else, and his twin brother is still out to destroy him. Add to that, Jack’s best friend is being held on a trumped-up charge that could see him locked away for a very long time, and it seems like all bets are off... 

Private Vegas is full of sex, people on the run, guns, double dealing, and scumbags who have diplomatic immunity. But Private doesn’t rest in its search for justice. This novel hits the ground running and the pace heats up from page to page. 

Dee Andrew


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Confessions of a Murder Suspect

by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Young Arrow) R150, ISBN: 978-0-099-56734-9 

The Angel children are overachievers, the product of their wealthy parents’ ambitions. They are also suspects in their parents’ murder. 
Teenager, Tandy Angel, decides to launch her own investigation. She wants to find the murderer and prove that her siblings are innocent. But she has become the prime suspect because she was the last one to see her parents alive. As Tandy uncovers clues, she realises that her family is far from normal. Memories seep into her mind and she wonders if she could have committed the crime. 

Confessions of a Murder Suspect is written in the first person. Tandy draws the reader into her confidence, revealing both her weaknesses and her strengths, as she tries to make sense of a life that has been protected and very privileged. I found Patterson’s characters to be both interesting and quirky.

The storyline left a few unresolved issues at the end. Although I found this frustrating, I still recommend this book to readers who enjoy the thriller genre and a quick read. 

Ulrike Hill

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Private Games

by James Patterson (Century) ISBN: 9781846059742


This book was clearly intended to run in conjunction with the recent Olympic Games in London.


Private, the world's most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Nigel Steele is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the games' organizing committee and his mistress have been killed.


This book appears to form part of a series of books by the author. Although part of a series this book can be read on its own and has a strong plot-driven story.


This book seems to me to follow the so-called Patterson formula, being fast paced which keeps you on the edge of your seat. Quick, short chapters had a psychological way of making me want to keep turning the pages.


Even though the Olympic Games are finished, this book is still a good read and worth investing the time in reading it.


Michele van Eck



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