Wednesday, 5 October 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Cradle and All by James Patterson

Jimmy Patterson; 336; $18.99; Amazon
If a book is a bestseller, then eventually it will get a reprint, and some of those titles will also get a brand new cover art. Well, that was what was I thinking when I saw the cover to Cradle and All by James Patterson on Barnes & Nobles a few months ago. The original Cradle and All was published in 2000, and it was actually a rewritten novel called Virgin that was published in 1980. This year's release of Cradle and All with the baby stroller on the cover is in fact another rewritten version of Virgin, but this time Mr. Patterson has written the story for young adults under his children book label "Jimmy Patterson."

Cradle and All centers on a pregnant seventeen-year-old, Kathleen Beavier, in Boston who claims she's a virgin. During her pregnancy, the world is turned upside down with droughts, epidemics, floods, and epidemics.

The young girl's claim gets the attention of the Catholic Church, leading Cardinal Rooney to ask Anne Fitzgerald, a former nun who is now a private detective, to investigate the situation. Also sent in to help out in the case is Father Justin O'Carroll, who has had past relationship with Anne.

On the other side of the world, Father Nicholas Rosetti travels from Rome to Ireland in search of Colleen Deirdre Galaher, a sixteen-year-old pregnant virgin.

Are Kathleen and Colleen telling the truth? If so, is one of them carrying in The Second Coming? Or is one of the carrying Satan's child?

Final Thoughts: I had read the 2000 release of Cradle and All years ago, and I've also read Virgin, which I had found a hardcover at a thrift store. While I did recall the pregnant virgin plot, I didn't remember much else from those books, so my mind was more or less fresh on the tale went I went to read the 2016 version on Monday morning.

My intention was to read at least 75 pages in one sitting, but I ended up reading the entire novel before I had even finished drinking one cup of coffee. The novel opens up almost the same way the 2000 version did, but with new updates and changes to fit in with the current times, and of course to appeal to a younger audience.

Warning: The novel has some fowl language and dark themes, so fans of Mr. Patterson's kids books should probably not read this one. The book is written for older teenagers, though adult fans will probably be interested in reading it.

Overall, Cradle and All is a well-written thriller that reminds me of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby. While the pregnant virgin plot has been done to death in horror books and films, Mr. Patterson keeps it's fresh in his new revision.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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