Jack & Jill by James Patterson

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JackJillJack & Jill by James Patterson (Little Brown & Co., 2009)

Blurb: In the middle of the night, a controversial U.S. senator is found murdered in bed in his Georgetown pied-a-terre. The police turn up only one clue: a mysterious rhyme signed “Jack and Jill” promising that this is just the beginning. Jack and Jill are out to get the rich and famous, and they will stop at nothing until their fiendish plan is carried out.

Meanwhile, Washington, D. C., homicide detective Alex Cross is called to a murder scene only blocks from his house, far from the corridors of power where he spends his days. The victim: a beautiful little girl, savagely beaten–and desposited in front of the elementary school Cross’s son, Damon, attends.

Could there be a connection between the two murders? As Cross tries to put the pieces together, the killer- or killers – strike again. And again. No one in Washington is safe – not children, not politicians, not even the President of the United States. Only Alex Cross has the skills and the courage to crack the case-but will he discover the truth in time?

A relentless roller coaster of heart-pounding suspense and jolting plot twists, Jack and Jill proves that no one can write a more compelling thriller than James Patterson-the master of the nonstop nightmare.

Reading this book is like reading a used undergraduate textbook, only it’s got italics instead of highlighter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many random italics to indicate words the author thinks we should focus on. Because apparently readers aren’t smart enough to decide what’s important and what’s just ordinary narrative. And yes, it really is annoying enough that even I, a compulsive book-finisher, am considering just returning this one to the library.

Also, there’s a pretty basic research error: the author uses “semiautomatic” and “revolver” interchangeably.

I stopped reading about 10 pages from the end, once the “mystery” had been solved. I’ve read a few James Patterson books now, and I won’t bother reading any more.

My rating: 1 star

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