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I’m a huge fan of James Patterson and have read most of his adult books (he also writes for children). Because he works with co-authors, he is able to churn out a huge number of books – standalone thrillers and a number of series. Alex Cross is his most established series – 19 in the series plus a couple of standalone novels. The Bennett series is catching up – 6 books to date and another one due to be released this autumn.
~~~ Detective Michael Bennett ~~~
Michael Bennett is an Irish American detective with the NYPD. What makes Bennett different is that he has 10 (yes 10) adopted children. I am not sure how a policeman can support such a large family but seemingly he can! In the first of the series, his wife is dying of cancer. After her death Mary Catherine arrives from Ireland to step in as the nanny. Bennett’s grandfather, Father Seamus, is also there to lend a hand.
~~~ Gone ~~~
By the 6th book, the whole Bennett family are in a witness protection scheme and are hidden away in a remote Californian farm. In the previous novel, Bennett managed to put Perrine, a ruthless gang leader, behind bars. However Perrine escaped and is now out for revenge. Because Bennett knows Perrine so well, he is put back on the case leaving Mary Catherine and Father Seamus to stay with the kids, the eldest of whom are getting increasingly frustrated by their time in hiding.
~~~ Recommended? ~~~
Overall, this isn’t the best Patterson book. The storyline is just too far-fetched and the basic premise of Bennett as a single dad trying to bring up a family of 10 just doesn’t ring true. There isn’t very much depth to any of the characters and Mary is just too perfect. When does the woman ever sleep?
I’m sure I will read the next book (Burn) when it comes out just to see whether do eventually get together. It won’t take long. These books are quick to read – lots of short chapters and although there are twists in the plots it’s usually not that difficult to follow the plot. More often than not you can see what’s coming.
If you’ve read the other books in the series, you may want to read this but you’re not going to miss anything of you skip this one. At the end of the book, things are pretty much as they were at the beginning – the relationship between Bennett and his nanny is unresolved, Bennett still has to balance his busy job as a NYPD detective with raising his ten children and Father Seamus is still hovering in the background providing spiritual comfort and moral support.
Sorry, Patterson, this one only gets 3 out of 5.
Amazon: Paperback £3.85, hardback £9, kindle £3.49.