Hide & Seek by James Patterson

In his novel, Hide & Seek, Patterson relates his story through two points of view: the first-person voice of Maggie Bradford, and a third-person narration that is often filtered through the eyes of Will Shepherd, a psychopath who loves to hurt women. Maggie is a beautiful woman who is considered by some to be a terribly talented pop singer and by others as a black widow killer, since she seems to be involved in the murder of both of her husbands. It is clear in the beginning that the murder of her first husband was justified as she was obviously battered but when it appears that she has also murdered husband number two, a celebrated soccer star, questions begin to surface. To make matters more complicated Maggie has two children, Jennie and Allie, that she will do anything to protect so when it appears as if the despicable Will has made advances on young Jennie, Maggie refuses to defend herself at her murder trial.

Many professional reviewers have used the word “suspenseful” to describe HIDE AND SEEK but I have to disagree as I had a really difficult time believing that this work was a creation by James Patterson as it came no where near the standards that I have come to expect from this author. I found it sad that I never felt compelled to care about what happened to Maggie despite the fact that she was portrayed as an abused woman trying to make it on her own while raising two children. That may have been because I found the story line very predictable and was not surprised when the culprit was disclosed. Furthermore, I felt that it lacked the aspects needed to make for a good suspense thriller since it spent more time describing the sexual intimacies between the characters and describing sexual violence than providing a compelling dialogue and action to keep the plot moving. Don’t misunderstand this review, the book is well written and James Patterson sets the scenes well it’s just that I found it lacking compared to his other work or maybe it was because I viewed the characters as three dimensional as a piece of paper.

[tags]Hide and Seek, James Patterson, mystery, sex, suspense, murder, courtroom drama[/tags]

Exile by Richard North Patterson

Patterson’s newest creation, Exile, a political, legal, and romantic thriller, offers the same masterful story telling and social commentary that his fans have come to expect from his legal thrillers but this book adds an intense political element surrounding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

The host of characters in Exile include: David Wolfe (an upcoming Jewish attorney and political contender); Hana Arif (a suspected Palestinian terrorist who is put on trial for the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister); Saeb (Hana’s husband, a militant Palestinian); Amos Ben-Aron (Israeli Prime minister who has come to America to garner support for his Israeli/Palestinian peace initiative); Carole Shorr (David’s finance and daughter of a holocaust survivor) 

Patterson begins his recent bestseller with David Wolfe a successful
San Francisco attorney who is slated to run for Congress with the support to his finance, Carole, but finds that just one call from his former Palestinian girlfriend, Hana, turns his life upside down and causes him to question the truth behind many of his previous convictions. As it turns out Hana has, coincidentally, returned to America, after thirteen years in Palestine, accompanied by her militant Palestinian husband, Saeb, at the same time that Israeli Prime Minister, Amos Ben-Aron is assassinated prior to the scheduled presentation of his
Middle East peace initiative. As events proceed Hana is eventually taken into custody for being in collusion with the suicide bombers who killed the Prime Minister and turns to David to represent her resulting in his losing credibility among the Jewish community and the politicians that were set to help him launch his political career. Throughout the course of his investigation to find the truth David finds himself traveling to Israel where he has the opportunity to interview many of the people associated with Hana’s past and to tour the many relevant sites involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Throughout David’s visit to the area Patterson does a great job of describing why the conflict exists and why, due to the extremist views held by all those involved, it will be next to impossible to arrive at a peaceable solution. When David finishes his tour of the Middle East he returns to
America where he uses the information that he has learned at Hana’s dramatic courtroom trial.

This politically motivated, well-researched, novel is an emotionally charged story that serves not only to entertain but to also give the reader an in-depth background helping them to better understand the existing conflict between Israel and
Palestine. I felt that Patterson did an excellent job in painting the historic
Middle East conflict, illustrating the plight of both sides, while keeping the story line rapid paced with well developed characters, intertwined with a love story that seemed timeless and strongly written Court Room scenes. I would strongly recommend this book to the politically minded among us in the hopes that we would learn from it what each of these groups has suffered and that it is a problem that it is not likely to be easily solved.

 [tags]book review, Richard North Patterson, Exile, political, Mid East conflict, Israel, Palestine, love, action, courtroom drama[/tags]