Tick... A killer's countdown begins.
Tick... Can Michael Bennett catch him?
Tock... Before his time is up?
Chapters: 106 (Plus a prologue with two parts.)
Publisher: Arrow Books
Book Links: Goodreads
The fourth entry in Patterson's adrenaline-infused detective series doesn't disappoint. In fact, in some areas it's far superior to its predecessors, in others, it can't hold a candle to them. Overall, Patterson and Ledwidge craft a terrific, action-packed thriller that will salve the withdrawal of any crime buff. There's your twisty, turny story, strong character progression with a heartwarming cast, and a resolution that has you in awe of the series' hero.
Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)
Bombs are ravaging New York.
Random people are being stabbed and shot.
Children are being kidnapped.
And it's Detective Michael Bennett who's dragged from his vacation to take the lead and hunt down the one responsible.
Signs point to terrorists, but Bennett, with the help of FBI agent Emily Parker, connects the dots in a different direction.
One that, if true, will make it almost impossible to catch the perpetrator...
Plot - 4/5 Stars
I'll get my issue out of the way first. It's not massive, and is mostly my own fault, but I think I'm suffering from thriller fatigue. The beginning to Tick Tock is, and I feel blasphemous, unremarkable. It's typical. While I'm usually of the creed 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', I just couldn't shake the meh-ness. It goes on for maybe 1/4 of the story, and from then on, holy crap!
In true Patterson style everything ratchets from mildly mentally disturbed to sheer insanity. I love it when a story descends into chaos, and both authors do not hold back. With massive problems on Bennett's professional front and an intriguing bout of trouble in his personal life, you'll hardly know what to process first. 0 to 100 in no time at all.
The perpetrator's choice to copy previous serial killers to hide his own motives is a fantastic development. It's haunting and smart and truly gives the evil of this story an unpredictability that's rare. Despite the standard start, things shape up into glory of the golden kind.
The action is on point, and Patterson's suspense has an extra punch to it in this instalment.
I seriously enjoyed myself.
Pace - 4.5/5 Stars
The bump at the beginning is wholly subjective, so don't think you'll feel it. In all honesty you probably won't.
Aside from that, did I say 0 to 100 already? Cause that's a pretty Apt (if you've read the book you'll see what I did there) description.
Characters - 4.5/5 Stars
The authors always do a stellar job when it comes to Bennett and his family unit. They're warm and bright within a plot clouded with the deepest darkness humanity has to offer. Bennett himself is a capable and lovable protagonist. Tons of intelligence, tons of wit, and tons of emotion, he really is compelling.
And the killers (only one doing the actual killing) are crazy and riveting. The twist concerning them isn't mega, it can actually feel a little wasted, but it brings in a new dimension and the relationship between the two maniacs is decent.
We also see the return of FBI wonder woman Emily Parker. I love her in Worst Case, so I adore that she gets brought back. We also delve deeper into the love triangle that consists of Bennett, Emily and Mary Catherine (our hero's nanny and saviour). The tension is palpable, and the contrast between Bennett's fiery connection to Emily and his slow-burning flame with Mary Catherine, really provides a wholesome feel to our protagonist's personal life.
I know who I'm rooting for, and by the descriptions above, one will burn out, while the other will burn on.
Writing - 5/5 Stars
Standard and solid.
Overall - 4.5/5 Stars
Keep up the great work!
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