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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 6 September 2013
James Patterson and co-author David Ellis are the named writers of this novel that seem to have produced conflicting opinions judging by the reviews and comments. In a recent newspaper interview Patterson says that he and his co-author, (collaborator is his preferred term), spend time bouncing ideas from each other much as two script writers or songwriters do. What was unclear was the actual contribution when pen is put to paper. Some series are more Patterson in style (Alex Cross), whilst others (The Zoo and I, Michael Bennett for example), seem to find a diluted Patterson input. The Mistress is a mystery from this perspective. If Patterson's name is highlighted, it seems reasonable for the purchaser and reader to expect him to have contributed the lion's share and certainly take responsibility along with the publishers for the final product. The other quandary is whether this is a 'good book' despite the above.

Having now read 'Mistress' and re-read some parts again, I think I understand the reviewers' comments better. The story is convoluted. The main protagonist, Ben Casper, has to tackle an obstacle course barbed with hazards and parties chasing him to prevent him reaching the final line. Ben Casper is a wealthy owner and journalist of an online newspaper. He installed sophisticated surveillance equipment in his girlfriend Diane's apartment at her request. Shortly after she fatally plummets from a fifth story window. Ben takes it upon himself to show it was murder rather than suicide and find the reasons why. Ben is well-connected respected and liked up to Presidential level. The Government agencies, CIA, police, Russian agents do not like Ben. They dislike him enough to want him dead. If, as seems likely, he has acquired secret information of importance, they wish it to remain in his afterlife and will do whatever necessary to achieve this.

Ben is certainly a quirky character with good intentions. He has obsessional thoughts ('mind-scrolls') and ramblings with flights of fancy triggered by trifling stimuli and manifested by trivial responses unrelated to his task in hand; irrelevant details mainly concerning presidents and media. They did not particularly bother me but I understand the constant irritation they could provoke. It may have upset or slowed the early chapters' narrative but it did not affect me unduly as the pace increased during the latter stages of the book with added suspense, twists and surprises right up to the ending.

This did not have the right feel or background of the many Patterson books I have read or reviewed and agree with many it is more likely David Ellis's input with tinkering by Patterson. Is it a 'good book'? My opinion, for what it is worth, is that this is still an entertaining read albeit with flaws and having accepted the caveats. I had no problems reading nor reaching the end. If you want Patterson it is probably best avoided (or borrowed). If not, this is a decent enjoyable novel that stands alone. Not a page-turner but I couldn't help warm to Ben and his predicament.
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on 30 August 2013
It is said that the measure of a book is that it so good that you cannot put it down. For me 'Mistress' was a book that I had to force myself to pick up. It was slow the characters were 'paper cut outs', I could not relate to them or care what happened to them. On nearly every page the main character quoted films or US Presidential trivia very little of it adding to the story. The first three quarters of the book was dire the final quarter came to light but it was too late. With careful editing getting rid of the dross you could probably make a reasonable short story out of it.
If this had been my first James Patterson book it would have been my last. He seem to be putting his name to anything to make money. In the future I will just stick to his 'Cross' books
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on 12 September 2013
Excellent read as usual so many twists and turns I was sorry when I came to the end. James Patterson at hid best.
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on 6 September 2013
Another frantic and complicated detective story from James Pattison; everything happens so fast it is hard to keep up, and one keeps turning the pages in spite of some disbelief. Fast furious and very clever.
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I've not read James Patterson before and as this was written with David Ellis it's not his own work - I found it an undemanding book and there were too many diversions into irrelevant thoughts concerning his ideas about films , actors and other dross. The story was quite good about a dive from a balcony onto a paved floor with the obvious result. The plot involving the CIA and the Russian desire to annex as many former territories as possible together with a possible blackmail attempt on the American president was a bit too far fetched to ring true although it was enjoyable enough to not be a waste of time. Maybe I'll try another one of his books next time and make sure there's no co-author as dual works are never as good as sole efforts ( In my opinion ).
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on 4 September 2013
It is a bit different to the usual style of Patterson but it was still good
cant wait for the next new book
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on 27 August 2013
As an avid fan of James Patterson have read all his books and this is the 1st one i can honestly say was rubbish a complete waste of money sorry Mr Patterson but i was so disappointed in this book it was slow and boring no gripping story in this book found myself skipping pages just to get to the story everyones mind wanders but nearly the full book is like this so off putting,you cant help but skip pages to get by these bits and get to the actual story even then it wasnt worth reading
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on 12 April 2014
One of his best I was reading this whilst on holiday, found the book enjoyable and very difficult to put down
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on 23 August 2013
The worst james patterson book ever.i wont be bothering to buy any more of his work.he was exellent when he first started writing books but i think he tries to bring too many out now, and when he departs from alex cross it just doesnt work.maybe he trades on his fame now ,he's certainly lost the ability to enthrall ...such a shame.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 July 2014
I'm surprised by a lot of the negative reviews that this novel by James Patterson and David Ellis has received. Considering the number of poor quality books that Mr Patterson and his co-authors are pumping out these days but still getting rave reviews for I thought that maybe it was a case of an author being able to do no wrong in the eyes of his fans.

The weird thing is that this book which is considerably more enjoyable than most of what James Patterson has been writing of late is the one book that people seem not to like. After some consideration on that I think I have figured out what it is about it people don't like and at the same time what it is about it that I do like... it's different.

James Patterson has a habit of releasing 12-13 books a year that are basically carbon copies of each other. Swap out a few names, insert a different gender for the protagonist and play around with different places for the stories to happen and basically you have a new James Patterson novel. This was one of the reasons why I have taken close to a year break from his books as I was fed up of reading the same thing again and again.

But this book is not a carbon copy of ones gone before... at least not completely. There will always be tropes that thriller writers will stick to, especially prolific authors of pulp fiction books like this. However, there were enough original or at least fresh elements added into this novel to make it stand out as one of my favourite James Patterson books in a long time.

The protagonist is the biggest change in this novel. He is a slightly strange person with an overly active mind that refuses to stay on any one subject too long. His constant stream of subconscious ramblings encompass everything from movie trivia to remembered facts of presidents.

I was hooked on this character right from the start. He is a funny and socially awkward geek who loves movies and is rich. He is a bit of an obsessive person which is why at first he seems like a stalker but as the story progresses there is plenty to explain this side of his personality and I never felt that it was a draw back to the character himself.

Basically I really liked him because I haven't read any characters quite like him before. I can see how some of his tangents might get annoying to some, especially if you can't read that quickly as it does get in the way of story progression at times. However, if you can read quickly then you will probably drink them in as a character quirk and hopefully come to really like the character just as I did.

The plot is a little different than usual as well. Where normally with a Patterson novel there is a main bad guy who we often get POV chapters for, however in this novel the POV sticks one hundred percent in the first person and remains with the protagonist. This was far more tense and exciting as it left the identity of the antagonists in shadow through most of the novel and really kept me guessing.

Overall it was a fresh of breath air for a James Patterson book. I will be excited to see more books of this type come from this author (or more accurately from his co-authors) in the future. The only reason why this novel lost a star in my eyes was because there were a number of facts that the character kept sprouting that were wrong. I am a bit of a movie buff and I caught a number of times where he wrongly placed an actor in a movie or mistook a bit of trivia for someone else. It is a pedantic thing to loose a star over but when the only thing between getting an accurate fact and making mistakes is a trip to IMDB then it becomes something a little annoying for me, especially as now that I know they are wrong I don't know if I can trust some of the other facts in the book as well.

My recommendation for this book basically comes down to this. If you are a fan of James Patterson's works and come back time and again for the safe bet of rereading different variations of what has happened before then this book isn't for you. If however you are looking for a fun, fast paced and action packed thriller, mystery and a little bit of a conspiracy novel then I can highly recommend this book.
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