OK, so this maybe a really cheesy book, but I liked it. Yes, I could have done without the Homicide Cop (Mike) with a terminally ill wife (Maeve) and 10 adopted children - yes you read that right - 10, 10 adopted children. The Irish au pair who mysteriously appeared the day before Christmas and the Catholic Priest Grandfather.
Actually I take that back, I couldn't have done without Mike, he was pretty awesome.
This book starts out fairly unassuming, with the death of a former first lady from a nut allergy. Her funeral is attended by an array of the famous and fabulously wealthy and is promptly hi-jacked. The hi-jackers seem to be able to predict every move that the NYPD/FBI make and it's left to Mike to negotiate with them - while he's juggling his kids and visiting his wife in the hospital.
It's this book that reminds me of why I started reading Patterson's books (yes, I know he didn't write it on his own, probably didn't write it at all, just provided the storyline). Take one crime and follow it through (although the conclusion is wrapped up pretty quickly). The action moves quickly and I found it a really enjoyable read.
So, why only 3 stars? If a character is named something like "the neat man" then you just know that you've already come across him under another name, that he's hiding in plain sight. That kind of thing really annoys me.
The cheese could have been cut back a little bit and I felt that the ending was pretty rushed - overnight Mike gets a brainwave as to who the hi-jackers might be. Not scientific, just a feeling he gets. There's no mention of the hostages once they've been rescued, one of them had a serious hand injury and it's not mentioned at all when they reach him.
But the biggest problem I have is that one of the hostages is killed and it's never explained why. Now the NYPD and FBI are aware that the guys ransom will not be paid - but as far as we are aware the hi-jackers are never told that. So his death comes out of no-where. Call me OCD if you like, but I have to know why things happen and that just didn't make sense to me.
However, this series looks promising - God knows I'm struggling with the Womens Murder Club. Maybe Michael Bennett is what I need instead.