Book Review – The Russian by James Patterson & James O. Born – Much Awaited Sequel
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – The Russian
Well, time for the much-awaited annual installment (13th to be precise) of Michael Bennett, the lovable NYPD Detective of Irish roots. Michael’s family includes his grandfather Seamus, his live-in housekeeper cum girlfriend cum about to be second wife, Mary Catherine, and his 10 children, all adopted! In about two weeks, Michael and Mary Catherine are about to get married – incidentally, this is Michael’s second marriage, after his first wife Maeve, passed away from cancer many years back.
At this juncture, a gruesome murder takes place in which the young woman is not just killed, but her blood is splashed all over the place and one of her eyes is gouged out. Michael and his rookie partner, Brett Hollis, are assigned to the case and the scene is too repulsive for even seasoned cops. This one is very similar to two other murders that have recently been committed in New York, where the victims are both women and the murders are similar and the crime scenes are also similarly staged. This is one sick individual and has the detectives worried as hell.
Parallel to this, the killer’s identity is revealed early on in the book, and the hunt for him is what makes this book such an exciting read. Daniel Ott is an incongruous and unremarkable looking computer technician, who travels around the country connecting computer and radios of companies to their central command network, and when the mood takes him or he feels slighted by women, he murders them in a gruesome manner! This dark side of him is so carefully hidden behind his simpleton image that his docile wife and two daughters, back home in Omaha, adore him as a family man.
With Hollis doing the research and intuitive detective work, Michael throws himself wholeheartedly into the leg work and discovers that similar murders have happened in other parts of the country, namely in Atlanta and San Francisco. Collaborating with the local detectives, Michael and Hollis start tightening the noose around the elusive killer. But the smart killer is always ahead of the cops and may even be aware of who is chasing him and plans to derail the investigation by clever diversions. Michael, meanwhile, has to juggle the wedding preparations along with this all-consuming investigation.
Conclusion – Book Review of The Russian
I am a bit biased here, since Michael Bennett is one of my favorite fictional characters, and I can hardly wait to finish each new edition as soon as they are published. This is as fast-paced as all the others and the storyline is meatier than the last two editions, making it a very attractive proposition. Michael and his family (large as it is) are extremely endearing and one edition or the other has featured incidents involving one member or the other, which to a regular reader of the series, is an engrossing concept.
The investigative steps are sharp and there are no leaps of faith that the detectives take to reach their conclusions, in fact, they exude smart thinking capabilities. Overall, this is a very captivating read from start to end, and for those wondering why this is called The Russian, wait till the very end! Go for it people, you won’t regret it!!