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Swimsuit - James Patterson

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4 Reviews

Genre: Fiction / Author: James Patterson / Hardcover / 416 Pages / Book is published 2009-06-04 by Century

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    4 Reviews
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      09.06.2012 01:02
      Not Helpful



      A must read for any Patterson fan with strong constitution!

      I am a big fan of James Patterson and have read most of the Alex Cross and women's murder club books. So for me reading this book was a no brainer.

      It was as every book written by him a page turner, with his usual style of short chapters that kept me continuously saying "just one more chapter then I will put it down!" (And lying to myself.)

      I would say it has to be one of his most disturbing books I have read to date, with the opening few chapters being quite frankly disgusting, and the "villain(s)" being severely disturbed didn't deter me from finishing it.... Which is where I personally became a little disappointed with it, it felt rushed, like all the work went in to detailing some very gruesome crimes throughout the book.

      Nothing was explained ..." who was telling the truth?" the protagonist didn't even care to look for the truth in any which way, and as he was an ex- cop and writer I find it sloppy even at best .....and the way the villain was dealt with.... "Was that it?" ...."That simple?" and then it was left with the protagonist and his fiancée in hiding, leaving it open for a sequel either that or the authors thought ending it with the line they lived happily ever after was a bit too fairy tale like.

      Is everyone happy? ;oD


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        11.10.2011 13:00
        Very helpful



        Not a book I'd expect from such a good author.

        I'm a real fan of James Patterson and have most of his Alex Cross books, but he is such a prolific writer that there are still many of books I have yet to read. So coming across this one in the library I couldn't wait to read it, especially with the notation,
        'James Patterson's most shocking and seductive story yet.' With that and the write-up it sounded like I was in for a good read and so I gave up most of my time on Sunday to read it.

        I should mention that the co-writer on this book is Maxine Paetro, a writer who has collaborated with him before now. It's hard to say how much input she had into this book, I imagine it's more a man's story, yet I could be wrong, some women write shockingly explicit books and this comes under that category.

        The Plot.

        When a beautiful model goes missing dressed just in her swimsuit from a photo shoot it follows that the people closest to her will worry, after all, grown women don't just take off in their beachwear. Fearing for her life, her parents fly to Maui but they are not the only ones making that journey. Ex cop and would-be writer and journalist, Ben Hawkins, is sent by his paper, The L.A.Times, to get the story behind the disappearance. The local police who don't seem that worried staggers Ben and their ineptitude spurs him on to greater efforts.

        It's not long before Kim is found dead, decapitated and obviously raped and tortured. As the body count starts to rise Ben knows there is a serial killer on the loose, a psychopath who won't stop until he is caught. Without any emotions and devoid of remorse, Ben knows the killings will escalate until nobody is safe and that includes both him and his partner, Amanda.

        Good versus evil.

        This is such a powerful story that the ordinary characterization is inadequate to describe the theme running through the book. I'm used to reviewing books where there are strong or weak characters, but evil characters are something entirely different. I thought Ben would be fairly easy to describe, but he also is quite different from Patterson's family man and psychologist, Alex Cross. There is some similarity with the character of Ben having a police background, he is also in a stable relationship and is a genuine man, but the similarities stop there. Ben is harder and more worldly-wise in some ways than family man, Cross. His motivation is different but otherwise I thought the way of telling the story by Ben's account quite similar to that of Cross's character.

        The Villain of the story is hard to describe without giving away more of the story, which I wouldn't like to do. His reasons for the killings are many-fold, so it's hard to pin him down. One reason is a financial one that adds an additional horror to the slayings. From early in the book we know that Ben Hawkins is somehow writing of the killer's story from first-hand knowledge, but how and why is part of the plot. He is totally without feelings, or is he? Without writing an x-rated review I can only say that the things that the killer does to the women and the graphic descriptions in the book are unlike anything I've read before. The author/s, are taking us into the mind of a man that enjoys both the sexual side of the killings and the moment when he does the 'deed.' The writing is full of the feelings of the murderer and spares the reader nothing at all. I can honestly say it's somehow worse than Hannibal Lecter because you feel like your own mind has been polluted.

        Then there are the victims and fortunately we don't have to 'hear' their fear and torment too much, though it was still far too much for my liking. I nearly stopped reading and I don't abandon a book lightly. I had to read something a bit light and fluffy afterwards to get the images out of my head.

        Amanda, Ben's strong and lovely fiancé is given plenty of her own character and that does give some light in the darkness. However, it's not too long before the reader starts to worry for her safety and the cruel way the killer goads both her and Ben. Of course there are also the parents, the friends and lovers of the slaughtered girls and women.

        More Thoughts.

        I was honestly shocked by the level of sex and violence in this book. It's really graphic and should have a warning on the book, as I'd hate a teenager to get their hands on this. There is a market for this type of gratuitous sexual torture and it's not normally in a James Patterson novel. If you think I'm laboring the point it's because I know some reader will feel I've taken a prudish view, when, in fact, I'm a real horror fan. Perhaps it's because I felt guilty after reading some of the worse parts? Only my own conscience can answer that one.

        The story itself is well plotted and the narrative speeds along with Patterson's usual very short paragraphs. I think it's the first time I've been glad of that. Not that the torture abated because of a chapter break, instead it gave the killer time to catch his breath before he found another way to inflict maxim pain and suffering to his victims.
        Somehow I have to find some redeeming virtue in the book or I would despair of reading it. I can't even say the ending is satisfactory, though it does have some shock value.

        It's extremely well written with descriptive elements and the mood settings are carefully done so the reader feels a part of the action. The language is not too bad, which tends to make the violence even worse somehow. There is some of the banter that is exclusively Patterson and I found it hard to tell which parts his co-writer wrote. Did she give the insight into the female mind?

        I wish I could say this is a good book; I've never felt let down by a Patterson novel before. The fact that I've struggled to find anything good shows how much this affected me personally. If you can justify some pornography to sell a book then this is for you. It's certainly earns the title of most shocking but I'll pass on the seductive, headless corpse don't do much for my libido. Sorry James and Maxine but bring back Alex Cross and redeem yourselves.

        Thanks for reading and I hope I haven't offended anyone.

        Book Details.

        My copy was a library hardback and retails at £10.99. Paperbacks are £4.79 with used from 1p plus postage.
        Total pages-391.


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        • More +
          10.02.2011 10:08
          Very helpful



          A great story written by Jaes Patterson and Maxine Paetro

          This is a book I've been eager to read ever since it appeared on my doorstep. I read it in a matter of days, it really was amazing. This is definitely a book for someone who is planning on getting back into reading, and I shall tell you why later. This book was not actually on my wish list, however I have recently became a fan of James Patterson, and if anyone has read his books, they will know that his writing style is so gripping, that no matter if the story is dire and really boring, he'll still grip you until the very end.

          James Patterson is an amazing author; I have read a total of two books by him ("The Angel Experiment" and this book). And I have a lot more books by him, waiting patiently for me to read them. I know he is an amazing author, and he has written a lot of books that I hope to read. For this book James Patterson teamed up with another author called Maxine Paetro, this is a new author to me, as I have never come across any of her books. She has written a few books here and there but none of them were big hits. Recently she is known for helping James Patterson on many of his books, such as "The Women's Murder Club" and the new series: "Jack Morgan".

          Now I have a complete idea of how books that contain two or more authors work. However knowing me, I'm probably wrong and would much prefer if nobody told me how they are written as I'd love to keep this idea and believe it is truly how they write books like this. I believe that to start off with they decide to write a book, however they don't have time to meet up and write together, so instead they do a chapter each. For example: James Patterson might write chapter one. Once he is finished, he sends it to Maxine Paetro for her to do chapter two. And then Maxine Paetro, once finished with chapter two, sends it to James Patterson and he writes chapter three. It seems like a very slow way to do it, but I believe this could possibly have been written this way as there is many cliff-hangers at the end of chapters, and if they really did do it this way then they must have had a lot of fun writing it. However I do think that I could be wrong with this theory, and as interested as I am in wanting to know how it is written, I would very much like to keep my own theory and believe it. So please, no one tell me how it's actually written.

          So Swimsuit... It is an amazing story; however I very much doubt I can write a great story outline to interest you, so I have decided to type up what Fantasticfiction.com says about the book because I don't think I can write it any better.

          Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.

          LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.

          A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.

          This is a pure fun read, however it does make you realise that there is some bad people out there, who would normally do anything for money. It kind of sets you back a bit, it is a major thing in this story money is one everyone's mind, but most people don't think they have enough and want more. Personally, I think we are led to believe we don't have enough and so we force ourselves to work harder and harder to get more and more. I fully enjoyed this novel and I am pretty sure you will too.

          This book definitely comes under the thriller genre, it is one that could scare you and give you goose bumps, but it's not that scary that you'll have nightmares. Furthermore it has a few sexual scenes, which is to do with the thriller side of the novel, and it gives this whole book a twist, it shows a side that most people are willing to ignore, and maybe this is the main reason why this book is so good.

          Again I can't link this book with any other books I have ever read, it stands alone and jumps out at you, I have read many books, and I'm sure you are all aware of that due to the amount of book reviews I have written, but I am still only young (well I turned 18 on 29th January) and I still feel that I'm still exploring the amount of books in the world, and I very much doubt that I will come across books that are similar any time soon.

          The book gripped me in seconds, but it was probably James Patterson's writing that truly did it, if someone else had written it, I think I would have been extremely wary of this book, and I would have probably put it down and not read it, purely because it doesn't seem to be my sort of story. But great authors manage to make you enjoy a story you never thought you would. I could name a few authors who have done that to me, but once I start I'll never stop and I'm sure you are not that interested anyway. The story was really interesting and I just wanted to know more and more, however I still felt the ending wasn't as good as it could have been, I don't really know why, I could just have seen it being a lot better than it was. I totally enjoyed this book however the subject made me realise that not everybody in this world was nice and kind. The person you cross on the way to school or work, or anywhere else you walk to, could easily be a killer. And I think that what engaged me the most about this book. Emotions did get into me, I feared for Syd and Ben and I really wanted to know more and more, I just couldn't get enough of this book. I was kind of expecting myself to take a week maybe tow, to read the whole of this book, but I shocked myself when I got to the last page, and I had only started reading it three das beforehand. I am not a fast reader, I'm pretty average, in my opinion, and so to finish a book so quickly is an achievement in my eyes. This is definitely a book I would re-read if given the chance, it is a book that I will remember as it really made me see the world in a new light, and it is one of the first books that have done that. But knowing my luck I'll probably come across other books that also do that fairly soon.

          This book is definitely for someone who has recently stopped reading and who is definitely eager to get back into reading. This book has simple chapters and they are pretty short, it doesn't mean that the book is easy to read, it just means that it will grip you enough so that you want to read more and more. I would also say this is a must for any James Patterson fans, I presume you have already read it, but if you haven't you must buy a copy right this minute, as I know that you will very much enjoy this novel. If you have not even heard of James Patterson (and I must say I'll be surprised if you haven't) then I definitely suggest this book, because it will really grip you, and you'll never ever want to stop reading, and you'll thank me lots for helping you find a new exciting author.

          I have to admit, there was a few things I disliked about the book. The main one is the cover, I was seventeen when I read this, and I really don't think my parents would have appreciated it if they found out I was reading a book with that cover. I tend to hide my books on a shelf, that way the covers aren't that exposed, but occasionally I do leave books lying around here and there so that I can pick them up at anytime and read it. To be honest I reckon I would have finished this book quicker, however I kept it on my shelf most of the time, except for when I was reading it.

          There is nothing else I can say to interest you into this book; I hope I have done enough because I know for a fact that this is definitely a book that you will enjoy. Thank you for reading and I hope you do read this book!


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            02.05.2010 19:26
            Very helpful



            Swimsuit is James Patterson doing what he does best.

            Tagged as his 'most shocking and seductive story yet' Swimsuit is the latest stand alone book from the 'world's best thriller writer' James Patterson. Co-written by Maxine Paetro (who also co-wrote many of the books in Patterson's Women's Murder Club series) Swimsuit is a story that combines breathtaking beauty with untold horrors.

            Kim McDaniels is one of the world's most beautiful supermodels and she as the top of her game, that is until a psychopathic killer abducts her from her latest shoot at the most glamorous hotel in Hawaii. A terrifying phone call to her parents begins the hunt her and cop turned reporter Ben Hawkins is assigned the story. Unable to let his past go and faced with severe ineptitude on the part of the local police force, Ben begins his own investigation into what quickly turns from a missing person case to a murder inquiry. Ben soon becomes completely and utterly involved in the case and is confronted by a psychopathic killer who has no morals and takes great pride in setting the stage for his next killing.

            Swimsuit bears all of the unmistakable characteristics of a typical James Patterson thriller - it is a high octane, page turner that is easy to read but that will keep you hooked until the end. The layout of the book is Patterson's usual style, with large print and short chapters that make it easy to read the whole book in, more or less, one sitting.

            The protagonist Ben Hawkins is again similar to Patterson's previous heroes - a former good cop who hit a brick wall and got tired of the force. He's a strong character and makes a good lead character for this kind of story. It is easy to warm to Ben, who is not quite squeaky clean, but has high morals and good instincts none the less. The only criticism, and this is one that I often have with Patterson's leading men, is that he is supposed to be rough and ready but he just isn't quite gritty enough for the role. You get the impression that he does have a somewhat darker side to him, but it doesn't quite come over in the story.
            The serial killer is portrayed as a ruthless and swarthy man who takes a lot of pride in his work. He is a completely believable character and I think that is what makes him so scary - he could be a real person.

            Anyone who is familiar with Patterson's work will not be surprised by the storyline in Swimsuit. The premise is that the good guy finds himself in the middle of a murder case without the support of his peers but his great instincts see him through, in a someone unorthodox fashion, to the end. The fact that this is so similar to other Patterson stories (the Alex Cross novels and the Women's Murder Club series, for example) is not a negative point for me. I know exactly what I'm getting when I pick up one of his books and that is exactly why I pick them up in the first place. The familiarity is what makes me come back to Patterson time and time again.

            Patterson's own slogan is that 'the pages turn themselves' and that couldn't be a more accurate description in my opinion. It is true with Swimsuit as well, I literally read it in one go and I enjoyed every page of it. As stereotypical as it sounds, I couldn't put Swimsuit down. Even despite the somewhat cheesy nature of Patterson's style that Swimsuit has in bucket loads - the characters are sometimes a little too good, the setting is a little too perfect and the turn of events a little too convenient - it still makes a really good read.

            The ending of the book is typically climatic and does the story justice, although I do think that it is begging for a sequel. The loose ends aren't quite tied up. Again this wasn't a negative for me. I think that there will be a sequel somewhere along the line, but if there isn't I didn't feel short changed.

            Overall, I think Swimsuit is typical Patterson; some might say that he is just writing to a set pattern now and that all of his books (this one included) are very similar, but I say that this is what keeps him at the top of his game.


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