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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 14 November 2016
Another enjoyable read courtesy of James Patterson. I read a lot of negativity on Goodreads and Amazon about him using ghost writers, blah, blah, blah, but to be brutally honest I couldn't give a toss. I enjoy them and in fairness, that is between him and somebody else if it's the case and really nobody else's business !!
I'm late reaching this instalment of Michael Bennett stories as I wait till prices drop but the series is as good as it always has been. It was nice to catch up with him and his brood. My only gripe was where I needed to keep looking up American acronyms on Google !! THAT is highly annoying.
I did spot a line using terrible English and was pretty shocked to see it-"I, two other Major Case detectives, and a PD tech were stationed..."...ouch !! The he mentioned someone being in a child's school desk....should have been at. He was hardly inside it !! Twice he used the expression "booked" and "booking" but I couldn't even find that on Google in the context he was referring to and the same for the word "pooched".
I liked the idea behind the puzzle their abductor gave them and the fact that only one was able to answer his quiz. The character of Emily was a great one and I am hoping she'll maybe pop up again in this series as well.
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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 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 16 May 2011
In the past I have enjoyed the Alex Cross stories and had high hopes for this. I was bitterly disappointed. It was a dull story, badly written, predictable and cliche ridden. Also, in the copy I had, the print was so large that the length was equivalent to a 250 page book! I will try other Bennett stories as Patterson generally writes enjoyable and gripping stories. I hope he's not going the way of Patricia Cornwell whose books have got progressively worse.
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on 22 February 2010
Another great read in the Michael Bennett series. Its got a great pace to it and its hard to put down once you have started it. If you like Alex Cross novels from James Patterson you will love Michael Bennett. He's a character you can get into quickly, easy to understand, empathise with and get excited about - another winner from Patterson.
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2010
I love all of James Pattersons novels and this one co-written with Michael Ledwidge is up there with the best. In this novel Detective Michael Bennet is back with his 10 kids and some romantic interest, which runs loosely through the book. Somehow this does not detract from the storyline but makes the characters more human. The plot revolves around the kidnapping of a number of kids from wealthy families by someone whose ideals, which on first insepction seem solid, are somewhat flawed. Michael Bennet and FBI Agent Emily Parker are hot on the trail. This could have been a slow story, but there are enough twists and turns to make it both interesting and gripping. Even when you think it is over it isn't. I found myself wanting to read more, and just a bit more, and I finished it in under 2 days. This is not a long book, and the size of the writing, means that it is in fact, a lot shorter than you think. However, I feel that Patterson and Ledwidge have got the length just about right. Too much longer and they would have run out of steam. This is an excellent book which I would recommend anyone to read.
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on 19 February 2010
I am an avid James Patterson fan & I have been very disappointed with some of his latest Alex Cross books but I found this to be a step back in the right direction. The characters are good & the plot believable which hasn't been the case with his recent books.
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