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Mystery lite, but enjoyable

  • Nov 18, 2010
  • by

This is the third novel that James Patterson wrote with Howard Roughan. The first two were Honeymoon and Sail. This one has a good plot and lots of action, but some readers might be turned off by some wise cracks that the hero makes.

Nick Daniels, a magazine reporter, is the novel's hero. We are introduced to him when he makes a speedy retreat from Sudan and a hail of bullets by natives who dislike American interference, whether medical care or reporting. We are told that this is not his only near death experience. He had typhous when he visited other countries for interviews.

His editor, who he is in love with and with whom he had sex, is engaged to a billionaire who owns the magazine, tells him to rush back to the US to interview one of baseball's anti-heroes, a phenomenal pitcher who failed to appear for the seventh game of the World Series, and who was found drugged lying on the floor of his apartment. He claimed that two men grabbed and drugged him to prevent him from pitching, for if he pitched he would have assured that his team would win. No one believed him because it was well-known that the man had a drug problem and was afraid of crowds, and probably drugged himself willingly. Now he wanted to speak to Nick. He said it was a revelation. Why Nick? What did he want to say?

Nick goes to the appointment, but the pitcher does not appear. Another appointment is made. The pitcher arrives and Nick puts his recorder on the table and starts it rolling. Just then, an Italian mobster comes into the restaurant and gauges out the eyes of a lawyer, killing him. The lawyer had bungled the case of a top gangster, the Prince. Two off-duty police with drawn guns try to stop him, but the mobster, who is walking out of the restaurant with no weapons in hand, draws two guns from his pocket and shoots the two in their heads.

The DA, who is dating and sleeping with Nick's old girl friend, tells Nick that the wants to prove that the Prince arranged the murder. Nick remembers that he has the recording. He listens to it and hears the killer say that he is killing the lawyer for the Prince. Nick hands to recording to the police, but is afraid that the Prince will kill him, as he had the lawyer killed.

The pitcher calls Nick and arranges another meeting. He does not show up. Nick hears over ESPN that he fell out of his window to his death.

Why is the DA so interested in pinning the crime on the head gangster? Why was the killer so stupid as to mention the Prince's name? Why did the lawyer bungle his defense of the Prince? Will Nick get involved in the investigation? Why? Will the gangsters come after him? Will he be able to take his editor away from her fiancée, the billionaire? What is the secret that the pitcher wanted to tell Nick? Is it in any way related to the murder in the restaurant? Why didn't he appear for his first appointment? Was his death a suicide or was it murder? Why?

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review by . January 28, 2011
Bruno Torenzi kills attorney Vincent Marcozza in one of New York's finest steakhouses. Then he shoots his way out of the restaurant.      At a nearby table, reporter Nick Daniels was about to interview fallen New York Yankee player, Dwayne Robinson. Robinson was going to come clean about his use of drugs.      When Nick returns home and plays the tape from the interview he's surprised to hear the voice of the killer say, "I have a message from …
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Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #66
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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About this book


The good

New York's Lombardo's Steak House is famous for three reasons--the menu, the clientele, and now, the gruesome murder of an infamous mob lawyer. Effortlessly, the assassin slips through the police's fingers, and his absence sparks a blaze of accusations about who ordered the hit.

The bad

Seated at a nearby table, reporter Nick Daniels is conducting a once-in-a-lifetime interview with a legendary baseball bad-boy. In the chaos, he accidentally captures a key piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of an all-out war between Italian and Russian mafia forces. NYPD captains, district attorneys, mayoral candidates, media kingpins, and one shockingly beautiful magazine editor are all pushing their own agendas--on both sides of the law.

And the dead

Back off--or die--is the clear message Nick receives as he investigates for a story of his own.Heedless, and perhaps in love with his beautiful editor, Nick endures humiliation, threats, violence, and worse in a thriller that overturns every expectation and finishes with the kind of flourish only James Patterson knows.
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ISBN-10: 0316036234
ISBN-13: 978-0316036238
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition first Printing edition (September 27, 2010)
Date Published: September 27, 2010
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