Alert by James Patterson

Besides his Alex Cross series, James Patterson's Michael Bennett series is one of the more consistent of the author's prolific output. I've really enjoyed reading about Bennett and his extended family of 10 kids, a priestly grandfather, and an Irish nanny/love interest. This unique family dynamic couples with Patterson's penchant for a fast pace and short chapters to make consistently satisfying novels.

Alert, the eighth novel in the Bennett series, sees Michael and his nanny Mary Catherine back in her homeland. The couple has finally decided to pursue their relationship, ending a series-long "will they/won't they" that was beginning to overstay its welcome. Plans for the sale of Mary Catherine's property fall through, leaving her in the motherland while Michael heads back to his responsibilities in New York.

New York brings challenges to both Michael's personal and professional lives. His grandfather recently had a bout of amnesia that doctors fear may have been the result of a stroke. Just as he is beginning to deal with the realities of his grandfather's health, Michael is faced with an even worse event. A large explosion has gone off in the NYC subway system, a terrorist attack the likes of which the city hasn't experienced in years.

All told, Alert delivers on just about everything you'd come to expect from a James Patterson novel. Patterson strikes a perfect balance between the family and thriller aspects of his story. The thrills may be mostly surface level, but I still enjoyed them. More importantly, Paterson places his characters in life situations that are both vital to their evolution and relatable to readers. Alert may not be remembered as one of the great literary works of all time, but it certainly works as a diversional thriller. In the end, that's all it really needs to be.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2018, 35)

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4 Responses to “Alert by James Patterson”

  1. Since Patterson started writing with an Australian author I love, I've become more and more interested in his work, but his catalogue of work is just so immense I usually go for recommendations like this -- Michael and Mary Catherine sound like they have a long complex history behind them, I'm busting to know more!

    1. Not only is their history very well developed, the opening few novels are really showstoppers!

  2. I'm that reader who used to get into just about every James Patterson novel, then I wasn't. It seemed like they were losing their edge. Recently, I've started to pick up a few and have been getting into the action and suspense again, but this series I haven't read. Looks like I need to get into this series and meet these interesting characters. Great review! Hugs...RO

    1. I find that I read Patterson in phases too. This series really grabbed me from the very beginning!


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