Newest Review: ... is one of Patterson's strong points, he makes amazing character and full of so much depth you can almost the person as a '... more
There's a body on me starboard bow!
Sail - James Patterson
Member Name: Emma1973
Sail - James Patterson
Advantages: Good tale, easy to read. Wont tax the brain cells too much.
Disadvantages: £6.99 would be too much to pay!
'I first came across James Patterson when I came across his Alex Patterson novels, then I read one of his Murder Club novels and wasn't impressed. I've now got all his novels and decided to have a bash at his stand alone novels hoping they were the standard of the Alex Cross ones.
I decided to read the uninspiring titled novel Sail which he co-wrote with Howard Roughan. Sail concerns Katherine Dunne and her family who decide to take a 2 month family vacation in the hope of mending her fractured family. This will be the family trip since their father died 4 years ago and will be on the family yacht skippered by her husbands brother, Jake. Thing is, it all goes a bit belly up when they start to encounter problems with the boat and en up lost at sea. There isn't just Katherine and her kids, Mark, Callie and Eric, there's also her new husband Peter who didn't come on the trip.
This is one of Patterson's strong points, he makes amazing character and full of so much depth you can almost the person as a 'real' person.
Katherine - Definitely a 'mum', she works long hours as a heart surgeon and is racked with guilt at how little time she spends with her kids. She does try to over-compensate a little but you do feel feel sorry for her and you can tell she's trying to do her best, it doesn't come across as cloying as well. There isn't much character development but for once I don't think it's necessary.
The Kids - These are the characters that grow the most, little buggers at the beginning! Mark is a pot-head, Callie is troubled and tries to commit suicide by jumping off the boat on the first day and Eric is the ten year old with the character and attitude of a 40 year. They are the ones that grow the most, their maturity as they deal with adversity is quite stunning. It doesn't come across as fake and you end up feeling quite proud.
Peter - Oh he's not a nice character at all, throughout the whole book he doesn't have one redeeming quality. He's a nasty lawyer, a thief, a cheat but is he much more. He's quite one dimensional but that's fine, unusually that works well here. We don't need him to have hidden depths, he is what he is and as the truth comes out you'll raise a few eyebrows but not be entirely shocked.
Theres also quite a few other characters who play their part, Ellen Pierce the FBI agent who's deeply suspicious about Peter, Sgt Tatem who's organising the search for the Dunne family, Mona, Katherine's best friend. There's also 2 other characters who play very important parts. I'm not going to tell you about them because then I'd have to explain about them and that would spoil the surprises!
It isn't very original, what is original is how it's executed, it takes several different elements from different thrillers and mixes them together, and does so rather successfully. You really don't know whats going to happen to the family, its not clear cut and I like that. Most of the action in the book actually takes part away from the family and I have no problem with that. If I wanted to read Shipwrecked then I would! The end is good, there's a few twists and turns, enough to keep any thriller fans hooked, and yes indeed the unexpected does happen. I did actually raise my eyebrows more than once which is slightly unusual for me.
I did like the style of writing in this book, it is slightly softer than a lot of Pattersons writings which can come across as slightly blunt and solid sometimes. It would be nice to know just how much input Roughan has, as it always irks me when I don't know!
It's a good book, is it great? No, it doesn't break any new ground, nor is it going to make you sit there open mouthed but it's good, certainly good enough to spend a few hours whiling away the time.
Summary: Thieves, murder and boats in this Patterson thriller.