Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Literally the Best Reviews: 15th Affair

15th Affair -- James Patterson with Maxine Paetro
Grand Central Publishing
400 Pages

I had to think and rethink as to whether I was going to write this review. While I enjoy reading the books in the “Women’s Murder Club,” I have a hard time reconciling the fact that James Patterson gets all the credit for other people’s work. Sure, he is the originator of the idea and gets final veto power on what has been written, but I believe credit is due to the smaller names on the front cover. It is for them that I decided to write this review.

Let me make clear that I hold no ill will towards James Patterson. He has built a brilliant media empire with the countless books that are released under his name each year. He’s sold over 300 million books and has earned $700 million over the last decade. Despite my own misgivings, he’s been extremely successful.

Patterson’s latest novel, 15th Affair, is the fifteenth installment in the “Women’s Murder Club” series. Lindsay Boxer is back with her friends, although in this novel, there is far less attention on the rest of the club. They make their token appearance, but they have been relegated to a simple and quick backstory. Instead, the book focuses more on Boxer and her husband, Joe Molinari.

A combination of tragedies sets the narrative into motion. First, a Chinese national ends up dead in a luxury hotel while meeting with a beautiful blonde behind his wife’s back. The very next day, an airplane arriving from China is blown out of the sky. According to the manifest, a man with exactly the same name as the murdered man from the hotel was also a passenger on the downed aircraft.

At the same time, Boxer’s husband goes missing. Secrets between he and Boxer threaten the idyllic life she believed she was living. Finding Joe may unravel the mysteries surrounding the murder and plane crash. But at what cost? Will the secret life Joe has been leading tear apart his family? Will old flames burn anew?

As with all of James Patterson’s books, these are easy reads that most readers will just breeze through. They are very formulaic and not very deep when it comes to plot or characters. I enjoy reading them for this very reason. Sometimes you just need a throwaway book to unwind after a heavy week of work. That’s what I get out of the James Patterson books.

I’ve read all the “Women’s Murder Club” books. Today’s book, 15th Affair is the newest book. Just like all the others, I read this one is just a couple hours. The beauty of a formulaic book with a thin plot and characters is that it’s very easy to read. But it is fun. You continually question how Boxer will discover the truth. The pages wind down quickly, and the answers always come just as quickly in the closing pages.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy read to just pass a few, short hours, any James Patterson book may work for you. Remember when you’re reading his books, though, that the name at the bottom is the author who deserves a lion’s share of the credit. Do you want to celebrate the genius of the work you’ve just read? Find the author at the bottom of the cover and find something else they’ve written. They’ve worked hard for you, the readers.

Craig Bacon just published his 101st Review. That’s 86 more than the 15th Affair. James Patterson, you have some more work to do. I’ll be here, ready to read.