Best Case: Survival.
Worst Case: Death.
This Case: Michael Bennett is on it.
Chapters: 102 (Plus a prologue with two parts.)
Book Links: Goodreads
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge have teamed up for another smashing entry in the Michael Bennett series! Worst Case follows in its predecessor's footsteps; it's a straight-forward thriller that rattles along at a breakneck speed. The standards for this series remain at a constant high level, and what you see is what you get.
There's a serial killer, white-knuckle action, and a personal tone to Worst Case that begs the question: Why haven't you read it already?
Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)
Detective Michael Bennett is a magnet for trouble.
Called to handle the case of a kidnapped rich kid, Bennett hopes for a speedy and smooth resolution.
One where the kid comes out alive.
But when the perpetrator kills, disposes, and leads the police to the body, the standard rules for kidnapping cases is thrown out the window.
What does the killer want?
And what will he do to get it?
As another millionaire's child vanishes, and the FBI start to muscle in on the case, Bennett will have to use every piece of experience he has...
Plot - 5/5 Stars
Great start, great progression, great conclusion.
The story is intriguing to the max, especially with its political, economic and worldwide suffering overtones. The motivation and goal of our killer is compelling, and the way events unfold fill the novel nicely, while keeping the reader's forward momentum going. At the risk of sounding the way I do on every other James Patterson review I've written, Worst Case is pretty much what you expect from every Patterson novel: A quick, adrenaline-infused read.
I'm still loving the professional and personal balance that's struck with our protagonist. While the majority of the book focuses on Bennett's case, the family dynamic injects a wealth of heart and homeyness into the plot.
Pace - 5/5 Stars
What can I say, huh?
Got a few hours to kill?
Characters - 5/5 Stars
As the series continues, the reader's familiarity with the main cast grows and strengthens. Characters like our main, his children, Mary Catherine, Seamus etc. all move in next to our hearts. There's still the plethora of people who slip into the story to serve as one thing or another before vanishing into the night, but they're the glue that keeps everything together, so it's not a negative.
Bennett is the strong lead he's always been. His myriad of experience makes him an exceptional asset when it comes to any and all cases. His romantic life strikes a match in Worst Case. There's not been much aside from the slow-burning flame between him and his au pair, Mary Catherine. That element certainly gets a stronger focus in this entry, but it's the addition of Emily Parker that takes centre stage.
In short, Ms Parker is a wonderful character that is instantly likable. Her badass attitude coupled with her compassion, intelligence and wit make her a worthy partner for Bennett. I doubt she's a permanent character, but she doesn't die so there's a chance she'll return one day. And on that day I will be very happy.
The villain has also been created lovingly (if you can say a fictional serial killer is lovable). He's strange and quirky, fighting for a goal that's hard to not sympathise with. He's a character that believes that the only way anyone will listen, the only way to do good, is to do bad. It puts the reader in a moral quandary.
Writing - 5/5 Stars
To coin my own words from other reviews (cheat!): Short, sharp and simple.
Overall - 5/5 Stars
You rarely go wrong with Patterson and his co-authors.
Suspend your disbelief, and devour his series.
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