Ryosuke's Reviews > Run for Your Life

Run for Your Life by James Patterson
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Oct 02, 2009

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If there's anyone out there who was looking for a good thriller, the book you’ve been looking for is Run for Your Life by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. This book is the sequel to Step on a Crack, but you'll have no trouble understanding even if you haven't read the first one.

This was one of those books that have nonstop action on every page. Mike Bennett, a detective who works for the New York Police Department, must track down a deadly killer, who calls himself "the Teacher" and is on a mission to exterminate rich people who have no manners and treat poor people like trash. Okay, honestly I thought this was a pretty ridiculous reason to go around killing people, so it would've been nice if there was a more realistic reason. The Teacher foils the police time after time, while Detective Bennett and the rest of the police department desperately try to predict where the Teacher will strike next. One time, the police find the place the Teacher is going to commit the next murder, but they arrive too late to prevent the murder, and the Teacher slips through their fingers and escapes to the subway. Two cops follow him, and they almost have him cornered, but he shoots them, and escapes from the terrified subway. Now this definitely gets Bennett fired up, and he tells us “Everything had changed from an hour ago. The shooter had killed one, probably two of our own. The stakes had skyrocketed.” As the police finally get an idea of who this killer is, Bennett realizes he must stop the Teacher’s final plans if he wants to save himself and his family.

Run for Your Life was an exhilarating mystery right off the bat, because it starts off with Mike Bennett on another case, and the action there immediately pulls the reader in, then shifts to the Teacher, who is plotting his scheme. The story develops really quickly, which was nice since I can't stand books with slow starts. Something that was really interesting about the book was that it has two narrators. One is Detective Bennett, the protagonist, and the other is the Teacher, the antagonist of the story. I was amazed at how smoothly Patterson pulled this off, and it worked unbelievably well since the book is a mystery. When you read the story from Teacher’s point of view, it describes the Teacher’s actions in a way that hints at what is going to happen next. It gives enough detail to feel like you are in the Teacher’s mind, but doesn’t fully reveal his plans. After that, the book switches to the detective’s point of view, and he finds out what the Teacher had planned all along. It's an ingenious way of telling a story.

I also loved how Patterson changes how he describes the Teacher throughout the book, especially as the Teacher gets cornered. At first, the Teacher seems perfect: everything goes as he had planned, he predicts the police’s every move, and he remains calm after every murder. The first description Patterson gives of the Teacher is “The man in the beautifully tailored, two-button Givenchy suit had finished his morning’s work with his usual expertise and speed. Many things in his life had changed since he had seen the truth – he was a new man now – but his superior intelligence and skills remained intact,” giving the impression that the Teacher is a superior human being that can escape the police. As the story progresses, he is forced to do things he hadn’t originally planned. He is thwarted by the police, loses his calmness and is forced to take actions he doesn’t want to. I thought it was a good way of showing that every person has his or her flaws. This book shows that the Teacher is aware of this, because even in his thoughts, he says how things aren’t going his way and he can’t get his plans to work like they should.

I won't give away what happens in the end, but apparently think Patterson and Ledwidge wanted to have a really dramatic and climatic ending. It was kind of believable when I read it, but looking back, I'm just thinking "yeah right." Well, I guess it's better than having a really anticlimactic ending, but still, the ending could've been a ton better.

All in all, this book is an excellent thriller with quick nonstop action. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in these kinds of mysteries. Make sure you have lots of free time before you start reading, because it will be hard to put down until you finish it. If you are okay with books that are realistic for the most part, you won't really mind all of the crazy parts of this book. This was a pretty easy and fast read, so if you like this genre, get this book as soon as possible from your local library or bookstore!
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 20, 2009 – Finished Reading
October 2, 2009 – Shelved

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