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The Quickie by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Publishers:  Little, Brown,  ISBN: 0316117366 

Reviewed by Narayan Radhakrishnan, New Mystery Reader

I think it’s high time that I stop reading James Patterson. He is causing a real headache. 

Yup, you heard me right- the reason for my headache is James Patterson. He writes such page turning, captivating books such that we are glued to the pages. The chapters are short and that with each chapter I began to say (lie) to myself -“one more chapter and then I shall stop.” The result is that THE QUICKIE kept me awake till about 2:30 in the morning and I had to get up for work at morning 6:30 am.  And with hardly four hours sleep, I got a severe, burning headache. And YOU Mr. James Patterson are responsible for this. And so I have a request, from here on out don’t write anymore spine-chilling, suspense works. Make the books as dull as possible. I don’t want to lose anymore sleep.

This time round the author successfully blends two age old mystery plot formulae- ‘the scorned woman in seek of revenge’ (Hell hath less fury than a woman scorned) and the plot of ‘being in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ But in the hands of Patterson and Ledwidge, the plot line gets a dose of freshness, a unique treatment and narrative style such that we are glued to the pages. Lauren Stillwill has the perfect life, but things suddenly change when she spots her husband in some ‘compromising circumstances’, and from that day on, Stillwill is on the warpath to seek revenge.   But her idea to level the score turns deadly when she witnesses a horrible and evil crime, an event that leads her to realize something new, more than the gore, dread, and horrific-ness associated with murder- there is also an element of fun.

What follows is Patterson at his best, and mark my words- this is a thriller which every Patterson fan has been waiting for since…..well last months’ 6th TARGET.

 

 

Restitution by Lee Vance

Publisher: Knopf  ISBN-10: 030726632X

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

At first blush, it might seem that Wall Street wizard Peter Tyler has it made with his ever increasing wealth, powerful career, and beautiful wife, but after having spent the last several years achieving stunning success in the financial world, he's paid the price with a marriage that is slowly crumbling.  And so when his wife is suddenly and brutally murdered, it's the evidence of his crumbling marriage and a one night stand that make him the primary suspect. 

Dismissed from his job, shunned by his peers, and with the threat of arrest hanging over his head, Peter has no choice but to find out who really killed his wife.  And the closer he gets to the truth, the closer he comes to unraveling an act of revenge that reaches so far into the past and is so encompassing and deadly that he will begin to doubt everything and everyone he once believed in.  

It would seem much too easy in a novel such as this to sacrifice character development for the excitement of a well-devised plot but, fortunately, Vance avoids that pitfall and creates a main character that, while at first may not always be easy to like, slowly grows into someone you might like to get to know better.  Remarkably, Vance's debut thriller reads as if written by one who has been doing this for awhile; his sense of timing, his flawed but redeemable characters, his convincing detail of the financial world, and his ability to create exceedingly high levels of tension all combine flawlessly in a tale that easily place him as a writer to watch.  This debut come highly recommended and we look forward to the next.