Wednesday, August 31, 2022

[Review]—'Shattered' by James Patterson & James O. Born

It's hard to believe that James Patterson's enthralling "Michael Bennett" series has expanded to 14 books. The last 15 years have flown by, and it only seems like yesterday that I started reading Step on a Crack. Here I am, nearly 41 years old, reviewing the series' most recent volume, Shattered, co-written by James O. Born (his fifth in the series).

In "Shattered," New York City detective Michael Bennett and his new wife, Mary Catherine, went to Ireland for a peaceful honeymoon. He purposefully ignored a call from FBI Agent Emily Parker, the lone work-related interruption, and his actions would, unfortunately, catch up with him when he got home. Emily Parker is dead.

No matter how well you come to know someone, you will never fully understand them. Michael Bennett experienced this as his investigation into Emily's darkest secrets—which she had always wished to remain private—began, leading him far from his family to Washington, D.C., outside his purview.

Final Thoughts

My mind is clearly playing games with me. I assumed I hadn't read The Russian before, but Michael and Mary Catherine marry in it, so I must have. Anyway, Michael Bennett is so likable that he can't possibly cause any harm, or so I believe, and it's one of the main reasons I enjoy the Bennett books more than Patterson's other series, with the exception of Alex Cross, who remains my favorite. 

The Michael Bennet stories took a slight dip when James O. Born took over co-writing duties from Michael Ledwidge. Born is a skilled author, so this had nothing to do with his writing ability. It's just that when he took over, the series took on a different tone. After reading his fifth book, Shattered, it appears that he has finally figured out how to make Michael Bennett his own character without changing anything that has come before.

Shattered's murder plot, in my opinion, is quickly laid out, with mixed results. Both Patterson and Born have the audacity to kill off a recurring character. Emily Parker will be sorely missed, and I wish she had appeared in a few standalone stories. Her death, on the other hand, is a fascinating story in its own right.

Overall, Shattered is a page-turner that every James Patterson fan should read. There is a charming detective, murder, corruption, mystery, and twists and turns—all the essential ingredients.★★★★✰

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of the Michael Bennet series by Patterson and Born but SHATTERED is not the Michael Bennet I know. He is shown to be fairly stupid in this book. He is constantly "dizzy" with emotion, jumps to three suspects without any real evidence, and seems not to be able to function at all without his wife. He is not shown to be the seasoned homicide detective that remains calm and in control. I did not like this book at all. I listened to it on audio and I wonder if the reader (Joshua Kane) had something to do with it. He seemed to accent the emotions of Bennet who was all over the place-one minute joking, next minute overwhelmed and dizzy with shock. Hopefully the next book will be better.


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