“ Author: James Patterson / Genre: Crime / Thriller „
See How They Run is one of James Patterson's earlier novels. Previously published in 1979 as The Jericho Commandmentm it shows early signs of Patterson's writing style and how the fervent characters in his books come to life as you read them. This story is more raw and untreated than some of his later work, particularly the Alex Cross books.
The story follows Dr David Strauss as he is devastated by the deaths of a nunber of his family members in different locations at similar times. In what is very much a Robert Ludlum style plot, Strauss teams up with his old flame Alix, also oin the run after having a pot shot taken at her, and they attempt to solve the mystery together.
Patterson's story tackles some controversial subject matter by touching on neo-Naziism, and their treatment of Jews, and while this could be a very good basis for a plot, Patterson sadly doesn't nail it as well as he does in some of his other books. The book has all the markings of a typical Patterson book, with a hero, some kind of a love interest, and some frenetic storytelling. His books have always flowed very well and the words have sunk in fluidly, leaving me wanting more and subsequently reading for longer than I had intended to, and although this one did the same, it actually didn't go anywhere interesting.
The plot kind of petered out to a disappointing conclusion, and it was almost as if Patterson started writing the book with the excellent notion of one man being targeted through his family, and then had to quickly make up an ending out of thin air because he'd nearly finished.
It's not one of Patterson's finest stories, and he rightly switched to a more modern style of writing with his criminals adopting more orthodox and less conspiratorial reasons for their crimes, such as the twisted Gary Soneji in Patterson's first Cross book, or some of the villains in the Women's Muder Club books. Sadly, here, the villains of the piece seem to have a fair enough motive but a ridiculous and pointless way of going about things, and there isn't a satisfactory explanation from the author. I was hoping that the confusing storyline was going to stretch out like a usual Patterson book and all would become clear, but I was sadlhy mistaken.
See How They Run is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98, although it is not one I would recommend.