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4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2009
In `Run For Your Life' Mike Bennett returns in the second book in the series (following on from Step on a Crack) and this time he is up against a ruthless killer known as The Teacher who is murdering rich and obnoxious people, seemingly at random, to teach them a lesson.

I'd pretty much given up on reading anything other than Patterson's Alex Cross series lately as nearly every book he has written (or at least put his name on!) has been nothing more than average, if that. A friend of mine lent me this book and so I gave it a read and I have since bought it to add to my collection as it is probably the best book he has written since the classics Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls!!

From the first word to the last it is literally non-stop action and thrills that had me glued to the page as it was just so exciting and suspenseful, with so many twists that you'd never seen coming and probably the best killer in a Patterson book since Gary Sonjei. Bennett is a fantastic new character that I think with a few more books behind him could turn out to actually be as good as Cross, which I feel has been dragged out a little too long now, to be honest.

Overall whether you're a fan of Patterson books or not, you simply have to read this book! It's without a doubt one of the best thrillers I've read for a long time and is definitely Patterson's best in years. Highly recommended if you need your faith in James Patterson being a top writer to be restored.
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I must take some of the blame here. Just look at the cover where the "James Patterson" is splashed larger then the book title, and then, almost hidden within the colours of the cover, is the name of the real author, Michael Ledwidge. I can't imagine Patterson got anywhere near this book, and it is yet another lazy attempt by publishers to con readers into thinking A list asuthors have produced a new book. Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, they are all at it, and it is a rip off. And I was half expecting it to be poor and was sadly proved to be right. but like I said I must therefore take some of the blame.
This is a lightweight thriller where we have a detective caricature (widowed, kids, weary but dedicated etc etc) against a clever psycho who is on a killing spree. Easy and effortless reading that you will forget within five minutes of the final page with very little to lift it from the below average. Some relentless and irritating product placement also detracted from any potential enjoyment but it would have taken a lot to make this anything like an enjoyable thriller.
One to avoid. And shame on you Patterson for selling out your name association.
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on 28 February 2014
Its a year since his wife's death and Mike is doing the best he can in his job as well as in life. He misses his wife and the kids miss her and yet she seems all around him. A young man is shot after Mike tells him he's safe and immediately the NYPD take a hammering in the press for which the mayor holds him responsible. Just when he thinks life can't get any more complicated he's proved wrong when it does. The kids are dropping like flies from the flu and puking so medicine and mop buckets are the order of the day. A serial killer is on the loose and makes it very personal yes very personal indeed. Great story with Bennets family life taking centre stage. Patterson has made me love this guy, An all round good guy in an impossible situation but you can't help but root for them all.. Story not over so presume it will be picked up in next book which I'm now gonna start reading. Patterson has me wriggling on a hook and I'm loving it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 November 2015
Firstly let me say that you need to read the first book in this series Step on a Crack to fully understand and appreciate what's going on in this book.

The book is full of suspense and action however I did find it a bit predictable toward the end. I enjoyed the book and can't wait to read the next one.
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on 22 December 2015
Not sure about James Patterson. How many books can one man write and why does his style change all the time. And why does he write with so many other good authors. IS HE JUST TAKING A COMMISSION ON THE USE OF HIS NAME? Surely not!
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on 15 January 2010
I bought this book as Patterson was suggested as a cross-sell from Wilbur Smith. What a lot of EMPTY book both story-wise and content-wise. The book is 383 pages long, it has 90 chapters averaging 4 pages a piece. Each chapter starts half-way down a page. The font size is big. After 190 pages I got so bored I did an anorak thing and went back to estimate the blank pages - result 41 out of 190 - Ridiculous - and even totally blank pages are included in the numbering. To add insult to injury, the last 14 pages are actually marketing for his next book - What a con!(I reckon the book would condense to about 200 -240 pages max.) Some people may like a quick read but I just feel that Patterson is not up there at all with the good thriller writers - I won't be reading any more.
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on 15 August 2013
I bought the second book in the series because I liked the plot of the first one...this one's good too but my problem with the ten kids stays the same...WHY? It adds nothing in fact it just gets in the way.....give him a couple by all means but ten? By the time I'd learnt the names of all of them I could have read another book....Anyway, I feel like the grinch at christmas banging on about it but thats what I think!
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on 15 July 2013
You know Alex Cross, well change his name to Mike Bennett and change location and there you have it. A must read for Alex Cross fans and a great edge of the seat story that will stop you putting this down. Exciting chapter follows exciting chapter and there are all the elements you want in a JP book. I cant wait to read the next Mike Bennett book.
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on 12 April 2016
Full disclosure, I received this as a gift and haven't read the previous Michael Bennett book in the series.

That said, all the characters were one-dimensional and bordering on parody: the heroic world-weary cop whose wife died leaving him with 10 multi-racial adopted kids, sought after by his colleagues, always keeps a cool head, shoots off snappy one-liners, is a little jaded yet still able to charm the ladies... an angelic young au pair... a crotchety Irish priest grandfather... a killer with model good looks, a contrived motive and a plot twist you won't care about....

The narrative switches from describing the killer's actions and thoughts for a few chapters, then to the heroic cop visiting the crime scenes. This doesn't leave much room for mystery or suspense as we already know the "who" and "how" of every crime before the cop does, and the "why" is saved for a limp plot twist.

There's a prologue which is virtually irrelevant, and a subplot of the lead character's kids suffering from the flu, which seems to exist mainly to pad out the chapters where he goes home between shifts and to portray him as a wonderful dad who's as handy with a sick bucket as he is with a firearm. The kids are written as perfectly behaved, wonderfully articulate little darlings (incredible really considering they're all adopted, their adoptive mother recently died, and they're all projectile vomiting from the flu) without a trace of reality to them.

Fortunately the story is rather shorter than you might think from the page count - about 1/3 of the pages are blank, as each new chapter starts halfway down the page and ends 2 - 3 pages later. Often the next chapter picks up immediately where the last one ended, making the chapter break completely pointless and (probably) included just to pad out the book with more blank space.

All that said, it IS a page turner and probably hits the spot if you want some easy entertainment on a long journey or as a quick holiday read. Just don't expect believable characters, much suspense, or a thought-provoking plot.
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on 22 June 2010
I'm afraid I have to agree with other reviewers who are of the opinion that James Patterson's novels in conjunction with other people are produced in quantity instead of quality.

This novel follows Detective Michael Bennett, whose wife is recently deceased and is father to ten adoptive children. He is pursuing a serial killer known only as the Teacher around New York, who is carrying out a mission statement to seemingly teach society a lesson.

On paper it seems a great idea, unfortunately the poor writing of Patterson or Mr Ledwidge, made this seem like a novel that was written for a 9 year old. The dialogue was poor, the language at times seemed to go down the "idiot proof route"

Although Patterson has never been my favourite author and I have certainly never considered him to be the best writer, you could usually rely on him for a fast paced, page turner. Not anymore, it seems like he is abusing the loyalty of his fans who will buy any book with his name on it. It will be the last Patterson novel I read. If you want a novel to keep you hooked from the get go ead anything by Karin Slaughter. She is brilliant.
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