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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 January 2010
Detective Michael Bennett works in the busy city of New York. His wife died two years ago leaving behind their amazing ten adopted children. Michael Bennett's life is solely his work and his children. Thankfully he has the help of his Grandfather Seamus and Nanny Mary Catherine. Apart from his children the most important thing in his life is his work. He had previously come up against killers and cases that he has solved and this year is no different. A young man who has one of the wealthiest set of parents in New York is snatched and held hostage. The only problem is that this killer doesn't want money. The killer insists on questioning the young man and it dawns on the hostage that money can't help him, only the correct answers can.Michael Bennett is called to the family home of the boy and then starts the race to find the boy before the killer makes it a murder case. Drafted in to help is Emily Parker an FBI Agent who is an Abduction Specialist. Between them they try to figure out the killer's next move. What they aren't prepared for is a killer that takes his beliefs to the extreme.Michael is not prepared for this case as well as managing his family brood without incidence. What he is even more shocked at is when his love life suddenly becomes part of the mix.

I have read all of James Patterson's books and to be frank they can be hit and miss. Sometimes he can produce fantastic stories but in recent years it seems like he churns out so many books that sometimes the story doesn't have the author's whole focus. The Michael Bennett series is co-written with Michael Lewidge.This particular book I really enjoyed. I have also read the two previous Michael Bennett novels so I already had some background on the characters which always helps. The second book in the Michael Bennett series (Run for your life) I rated at 4 out of 5 and to be honest this book was no different.The character himself is pretty good, he is clearly a family man but one who lobes his family and that comes across well with the writing. The added bonus of this book is the angle of the love life interest. The only thing was with this angle is that it felt very rushed, almost like JP/ML felt they had to introduce somebody. We don't hear as much about Michael's family which is a shame because his Grandfather Seamus was featured a little more heavily ion the previous book and he is a great character. As for the killer himself, we see the story written from his perspective and to be honest this was the weakest are of the book. It almost felt a little rushed and there was no real depth to him. However as usual, James Patterson manages to balance out these flaws with his style of writing. His chapters are short and sharp and always paced quickly meaning they keep you a little hooked. I always find that no matter what my opinion of the story or characters I am always compelled to keep reading. Maybe this is why his books are such a success? Up until the release of `I Alex Cross' which was quite recent, I actually preferred the Michael Bennett series. After that recent release I again became latched with the Alex Cross character. I must say though that after reading this Michael Bennett book, he may not be my favourite of the JP characters but I definitely want to see more of him. All in all James Patterson hasn't failed to deliver a good book. My only concern is that I never feel like it's a five star read lately like I have with other authors such as Dennis Lehane. I think that he produces so many books in such a short space of time that the reader never quite feels like he has immersed himself fully with one character and concentrated on that one book.Overall he is still a great author and I would recommend his books to anybody as they are an enjoyable read. JP had better watch out though, recently some great authors have been producing 5 star books which may threaten his status as the number one Crime Writer.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2010
WORST CASE is the third book in the Michael Bennett series written by best-seller James Patterson. The story begins when some of the wealthiest people in New York's children are kidnapped and murdered for no apparent reason or ransom, instead he quizzes the prisoner. Bennett is called to the case with the help of an abduction specialist from the FBI, Emily Parker, to get them bac and catch the killer.

This is a great new series from Patterson however this book wasn't quite at the high quality of the previous two novels. First of all the story wasn't that imaginitive and didn't have as many surprises as I was expecting, being pretty predictable and not all that interesting. The writing also was some of the worst I have read from Patterson and the number of co-writers he uses, feeling very poorly edited and rushed (for example, if you count how many times "...this was needed yesterday..." is written in this book, it'd be well in the teens, it is ridiculous). Knowing who the killer was early on also took away most of the guessing game you normally get from mystery novels. The love story sideline was also uninspired and dull.

The characters are quite good though and it is fairly fast-paced, suspensful at times and very action-packed. However this is far from the high standard set by the previous two Bennett novels. It is worth a read if you're a fan of Patterson's books but don't expect anything as good as STEP ON A CRACK or RUN FOR YOUR LIFE (one of Patterson's best, I may add) or you will be very disappointed.
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on 21 January 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the Michael Bennett series, despite their obvious flaws, and have found them to be the best of JP's recent books by far. So I was looking forward to this one, until I read the blurb for it a couple months ago. Particularly this bit: "the FBI who send their top abduction specialist, Agent Emily Parker. Bennett's work life - and love life - suddenly get even more complicated."

Now, I like there being a romantic subplot in the books I read, but it's got to be well done and have it's place. Given the disaster that became of all romantic entanglements in the Women's Murder Club series, I assumed that the potential love interest from the previous book would be discarded with little (if any) explanation and this new one would be there to fill a requirement. I wasn't that far off the mark. Emily Parker is of course very smart and very hot with a background that should fit very nicely with our single father of 10 tough NYPD detective Bennett *yawn*. The previous love interest (MC, the nanny) shows her jealousy but little else through the book which was a shame.

Putting that aside for a moment, the main plot of the book actually held my interest, more than I thought it would. Yes you knew when a 'twist' would come and of course the bad guy will be caught in the final 'dramatic' pages, but I still kept turning the pages. It was a bit weak and didn't have the detail or depth of some of JP early works, but it was enough for a lighter read on a wet, cold winter afternoon.

Whilst the writing of the main plot isn't great, with plenty of very flat suspects/victim's relatives etc. who go from one emotion to an opposite one in the space of a heartbeat, it's bearable if you're not looking for something with depth. The rest of the scenes though, the ones between Bennett and Emily (outside of work) or Bennett and MC or the kids, aren't really written. It feels more like a slightly buffed up plot. This, this and this happens, end of chapter. But nothing is really described, or written out with any care. There are parts that read like it's been written for tweens instead of adults at times too. Although, that may be a harsh opinion because there is plenty of well written teen/young adult stuff out there.

Surely all these flaws come down to the quantity of books JP and his team of writers churn out in a short space of time. None of them can get half the time they deserve or need to be made in to the kind of quality that made his books popular in the first place. And a final complaint would be that this book is not nearly as long as it's made out to be. There is an inch wide margin around every page, with 2 at the bottom, and double spaced text. Put it all together with reasonable spacing and you'd maybe get a couple hundred pages instead of the almost 400 there are here.

If you're looking for a quick read on a rainy afternoon or a sunny day on the beach, that doesn't take a lot of effort, then this will do just fine. If you're looking for more from a book, look elsewhere.
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on 21 June 2014
This is the first book I have read by these authors. The chapters are short and lead you to speed along and the villain of the piece has an unusual motive. OK the idea of cop with 10 kids making a great family life in the American dream, it is a sickly theme but not the main one so just skip over it.
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on 29 August 2012
I have never written a book and the reason for that is because i think it would be exactly like this one,bad dialogue,poor plot and full of every cop cliche in the book...
I read the first two books in the series and i enjoyed them,i knew that Patterson didn't write every word and that at best they are good holiday reading but i couldn't even finsih this one.
Maybe it is my fault having come off reading a Tom Clancy novel where he fits as many words onto the poage as he possibly can,here the authors seem to try to fit as little on a page as possible,pages start half way down and it really should be placed in the oversized novels section the words are that large.
When the cops start yelling at a kidnapp victim parent becasue he is nasty to them it just lost all of what little believability there was left in the story...
Very poor.
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on 26 June 2014
As a Patterson fan I've found many of his recent (often 'co-written') books rather disappointing and lacking depth. I don't mind novels where we know the 'baddie' from the onset...the thrill for the reader is the twists in the plot when the detectives chip away at the weaknesses and mistakes of the villain. Unfortunately, for the first 70% (literally) of this book, Detective Mike Bennett and his FBI colleague flounder around blindly all over the city at the whim of Mooney without making a single breakthrough or link to the victims - And I couldn't help feeling that I'd read this rather cliched plot before...several times. I skimmed through the last 30% just to get to the end and see if there was any more to the story (a slight twist around 95% but nothing earth shattering). There were hints we'd get some romance, but both those leads fizzled out very unsatisfactorily for the reader (and Bennett). This novel hasn't prompted me to fork out for the next one.
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on 22 April 2013
I have read all of James Patterson’s books and to be frank they can be hit and miss. Sometimes he can produce fantastic stories but in recent years it seems like he churns out so many books that sometimes the story doesn’t have the author’s whole focus. The Michael Bennett series is co-written with Michael Lewidge.

This particular book I really enjoyed. I have also read the two previous Michael Bennett novels so I already had some background on the characters which always helps. The second book in the Michael Bennett series (Run for your life) I rated at 4 out of 5 and to be honest this book was no different. The character himself is pretty good, he is clearly a family man but one who loves his family and that comes across well with the writing. The added bonus of this book is the angle of the love life interest. The only thing was with this angle is that it felt very rushed, almost like JP/ML felt they had to introduce somebody.
We don’t hear as much about Michael’s family which is a shame because his Grandfather Seamus was featured a little more heavily ion the previous book and he is a great character.

As for the killer himself, we see the story written from his perspective and to be honest this was the weakest are of the book. It almost felt a little rushed and there was no real depth to him. However as usual, James Patterson manages to balance out these flaws with his style of writing. His chapters are short and sharp and always paced quickly meaning they keep you a little hooked. I always find that no matter what my opinion of the story or characters I am always compelled to keep reading. Maybe this is why his books are such a success? Up until the release of ‘I Alex Cross’ which was quite recent, I actually preferred the Michael Bennett series. After that recent release I again became latched with the Alex Cross character. I must say though that after reading this Michael Bennett book, he may not be my favourite of the JP characters but I definitely want to see more of him.

All in all James Patterson hasn’t failed to deliver a good book. My only concern is that I never feel like it’s a five star read lately like I have with other authors such as Dennis Lehane. I think that he produces so many books in such a short space of time that the reader never quite feels like he has immersed himself fully with one character and concentrated on that one book. Overall he is still a great author and I would recommend his books to anybody as they are an enjoyable read. JP had better watch out though, recently some great authors have been producing 5 star books which may threaten his status as the number one Crime Writer.
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on 18 November 2015
This is another fantastic collaboration by James Patterson. This book is a rollercoaster ride through new York with Michael Bennett and FBI agent Emily Parker I loved this book and can't wait to read the next instalment!
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on 1 March 2014
A shroud has no pockets, you can't take it with you my granny used to say and it would appear to be true. A man facing his own final test in life decides to test other and meet out his own form of justice when they fail. parents need to lock up their kids it seems but only the rich ones. When the spree takes a new twist the detectives are left scratching their heads in confusion. Mike is struggling with his growing feelings for MC who has a special birthday coming up. Can he figure it all out in time Oh I hope so I'm beginning to see them as a team. His kids as usual bring his comfort and solace when he needs it most. and Seamus is just hysterical. Loving this series MR P and Mr L.
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on 28 April 2016
Not much story base and a little predictable. Bennett background with adopted family is unreal and appears too often. Offender is suddenly offered up in the case without any real necessity except to speed things up a bit as it was getting repetitive.
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