Emily Cochran's Reviews > Swimsuit

Swimsuit by James Patterson
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Sep 11, 09

bookshelves: fall-2009

James Patterson’s newest novel Swimsuit, written with frequent collaborator Maxine Paetro (The Women’s Murder Club novels), is touted as being “the scariest and most satisfying James Patterson novel since Kiss the Girls.” Granted, that claim is directly lifted from the book’s inside flap, but it’s still quite the proclamation. After all, Kiss the Girls represents an author at the height of his story-telling prowess.
It was with high hopes and expectations that I began to read Swimsuit. It starts off promising enough. The premise is this: Kim McDaniels, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Maui Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the true horror that awaits them. There, they meet L.A. Times reporter Ben Hawkins, a former-cop-turned-novelist conducting his own personal investigation on the case. With no leads and not much closer to discovering the kidnapper’s identity then when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the Devil.
As with most Patterson titles, a psychopathic killer features prominently into the plot. The deadly cat-and-mouse game is a famous trademark of Patterson’s murder mysteries. Swimsuit’s retribution is a master of disguise; “Henri” is paid handsomely to record videos of his exploits and then disseminates the footage to members of the “Alliance”—a group of voyeurs who pay to be able to view the footage through an encrypted network. How it all plays out is beside the point, though, as the story never quite lives up to its promise or full potential. Let’s face it—promising something as satisfactory as Kiss the Girls is promising a lot maybe even to high of an expectation for any reader.
A true accomplishment for Swimsuit is that it is a perfect summer read. With short chapters and an engaging story, readers will turn pages rapidly until there aren’t any left. A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, Swimsuit transports its readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a Hell of unspeakable horrors.
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