My first James Patterson novel.
I believe it was my friend, Amanda, who said to me, "You never read James Patterson, and you call yourself a reader?!?" I felt the shame. Lucky for me, shortly after this beating, I won a humungo basket of books at a fundraiser. It included not one, but two, James Patterson novels! Yippie for me! Since the other is the 8th in a series, I decided to try Step on a Crack first.
I liked the book, but I didn't love it. There is no denying that Patterson is a good writer, with a knack for entertaining his readers from start to finish. On the flip side, it felt a little like a writing exercise for me, and was underwhelmed. It was as if Patterson should have just written the screenplay and skipped the novel altogether. It will make a good movie -- although, if they do make the movie, remind me not to go to NYC during the filming on 5th Avenue. The traffic!
The city is really one of the characters of the story, and any New Yorker could appreciate that. However, I feel that too many of these action-packed, twist-and-turn, suspenseful novels use the Post 9/11 subplot as a cop-out. Any good writer shouldn't need the drama from 9/11 to support their storyline, unless it's already too lame and predictable to be any good on its own. I feel that this story didn't need it, but Patterson used it, and slightly exploited it. A good writer can make any city sexy and strong and dramatic.
All in all, I was disappointed with my first James Patterson novel. Maybe the expectations were too high. I don't judge a writer on only one book, especially one so successful, so I will try again. I'm open to suggestions!