Jennifer's Reviews > Don't Blink

Don't Blink by James Patterson
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's review
Jul 16, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in January, 2010

James Patterson is known for writing fast paced mysteries that are very easy to lose yourself in. Don't Blink was different and not for the better. The book is written in the first person through the eyes of Nick, a reporter. The book carries on in the usual style until all of a sudden, Nick is talking to the reader directly. Once his pointing out of key background details is over, the story resumes in normal first person perspective. Until he does it again. This back and forth - breaking the fourth wall on multiple occasions - was unnecessarily distracting and drew me completely out of the story.

The plot of Don't Blink takes a long time to make sense. Nick is in Africa, then Dubai, and just as he is about to travel to Paris, he's called back to New York so the reader can experience the same scene that was included as the prologue. The scene in New York, now shown twice, is the first thing that is really relevant to the mystery. All that traveling beforehand? Its only purpose seems to be in showing the reader that Nick is a worldly and experienced reporter.

There was a romance between Nick and his editor that was predictable and didn't do much to add to the excitement of the story. The mystery is where we see Patterson return to form, with a lot of unexpected twists and proves to be the one thing to make the book worth reading. The buildup and surrounding elements weren't the best and slowed the momentum of the book considerably. While not terrible, Don't Blink is not on par with Patterson's earlier books. One has to wonder if Patterson's huge output of books each year is taking a toll on his writing or if Howard Roughan isn't the best writing partner for his style.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann I throught it was rubbish two

Bruce Lasher I can see what you are saying in that the narration was distracting, but for me it was in a different way; in the beginning, the book was in third person, and then in first, then third again briefly. At least the change in point of view did not occur often and did not last long.

As for the plot, I was confused with the prologue talking about the murder at Lombardo's, then the first chapter being about an escape from the janjaweed militia in Darfur. And there were, at times, parts that I felt were added in just to make the story longer. For example, I thought that there was no way the perpetrator could have been anyone other than Bruno Torenzi, but Patterson found a way to add another wrinkle to the plot and point the blame on Torenzi's rival gang leader. I did find these plot "extensions" interesting because of Patterson's fast-paced all-of-a-sudden writing style.

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