Guest Editor Kristy McCormick
From the author dubbed â€˜the world\’s bestselling thriller writer\’ comes a new thriller that is the sort of book you\’ve come to expect from James Patterson. There are possibly tamer James Patterson books out there, ones that are less graphic anyway, but if it\’s psychotic killers, an interesting premise with a disturbing twist and a neat ending with a hint that there could be more to come then this is one for you.
The story is told from the point of view of Ben Hawkins â€“ former cop turned mediocre thriller writer turned reporter for the LA Times. It begins with an introduction from Hawkins â€“ explaining that he is telling the story of a true psychopath. And as Hawkins states in his chilling intro â€˜And the facts tell the truth. And the truth will blow your mind, as it did mine.\’
The story begins in Hawaii, where gorgeous swimsuit model Kim McDaniels goes missing. Following a disturbing phone call her parents board the next plane to begin the search for their daughter. Once in Hawaii they meet Ben Hawkins, who has been sent there by the LA Times to cover this developing story. Although this seems somewhat unlikely, Hawkins develops a friendship with the distraught parents and assists them through interviews with police and in the hiring of a private detective. But all the while behind the scenes the killer is lurking â€“ a world class chameleon who is closer than they realise.
With the discovery of two bodies â€“ a young local girl and Kim\’s model roommate â€“ those close to the McDaniels\’ realise there is little hope left for Kim. But then an unexpected twist shocks Hawkins to the core. With Kim McDaniels not yet found, Hawkins realises the killer is unlikely to be caught and returns to LA believing his role in this tragedy to be over. He could not be further from the truth.
Back in LA Ben Hawkins receives an unexpected, and unwelcome, visitor. His visitor claims to be the killer they sought in Hawaii and wants Hawkins to write his life story. Once he is provided with horrific evidence that this man is the killer Hawkins realises he has only one option â€“ write his story or become the next victim.
And so Ben Hawkins becomes an unwitting player in the killers desire to be more than famous â€“ the story unfolds now as Henri Benoit, as the killer identifies himself, tells it. Without giving too much more away, there is much more to this book than the seemingly simple plot outlined above.
Before picking up this book you should also be warned that the murder scenes are graphic and disturbing.
Overall, I don\’t think this book is up there with some of James Patterson\’s earlier work and may be too graphic for those new to the genre, but it is an easy and thought provoking read all the same. As a fan of the thriller / psycho killer genre myself I enjoyed it, but would not recommend reading it when you are home alone and perhaps not while relaxing on the beach in your swimsuit.
Available now; Random House RRP$32.95