Patterson is one of the best-known and bestselling writers of all time. He is the author of the two bestselling detective series of the past decade, the Alex Cross novels and The Women's Murder Club series, and he has written many other number one bestsellers. In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover novels sold was a James Patterson title - totaling an estimated 16 million books sold last year in North America alone.
He has won an Edgar award, the mystery world's highest honour, and his novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider were made into excellent feature films starring Morgan Freeman.
The “Alex Cross" series: Alex Cross, a black forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington, D. C. Police Department and the FBI, now working as a private psychologist and government consultant-are the most popular books among Patterson readers and the top selling US Detective series in the past ten years.
If you haven't ventured into the Alex Cross series - then do give them a go - the early ones are especially riveting. The last couple though are getting a bit tired and a bit saccharine sweet. Contrived plotting is sneaking up slowly.
Note though: A Michael Connelly or James Lee Burke he ain't. . . but still good.
The Women's Murder Club: This is a good departure from Alex Cross and has some great reads and is consistent from novel to novel. They did turn it into a reasonably good TV series - but I am not sure how long that will last.
Well worth your reading time. . . . especially good for plane rides; the beach or curling up in front of the fire to relax.
Patterson is no doubt a masterful storyteller with a fertile imagination - but he also seems to be an author with too many ideas drawn from that imagination so he has seemingly farmed them out to co-authors.
I found these comments when I was doing a bit of research:
"James Patterson is getting older, and tired-er, so now he leaves a lot of the easy parts of the writing to another writer. Whether or not the new books are as good as the older ones is a personal decision. "
"Yes they're just as good. . . but it is a bit of a cheat. James Patterson writes a detailed plot and structures the book, he then lets the second writer actually pen the pages. "
Some have worked well e. g. "Beach Road"; others not so well - even to the point of being dreadful.
Such is the case with"The Quickie" Not only was it not especially well written; it was fairly implausible and the main protagonist had no redeeming features whatsoever - in fact distasteful. I don't like not liking the lead character.
Actually, the novel's title says it all - it was a quickie - will get the bucks for sure - but riding on the reputation of his name and better books.
Peter Damien Ryan