Book Review – Steal by James Patterson and Howard Roughan – Nice Follow Up
My Rating – 3.5 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – Steal
Steal is Instinct # 3, which features Dylan Reinhart, the Yale psychologist cum professor who has an action filled past with the CIA. Dylan and his husband Tracy have adopted the adorable Annabelle, and has immersed himself into academia and domestic bliss, when all of a sudden, the peace and calm is shattered. One of Dylan’s students from Yale is feared dead – by suicide – if his latest social media post is to be believed. His billionaire father, Mathias von Oehson, offers Dylan a lot of money to find out what has happened to his son. But Dylan refuses, as this is a job for the police but Mathias cannot go the cops. So what does Mathias do now?
He coerces Dylan to do his bidding by putting a hold on Tracy’s place of work and a frustrated Dylan is forced to look into the mysterious disappearance of Carter. Now, not only is Carter missing, so is a priceless painting of dubious antecedents. Mathias wants both things back, without alerting the authorities about the theft. But once Dylan gets involved, he discovers that there is more than what meets the eye. In now familiar twists by James Patterson, the plot thickens to involve an Italian mobster and a Russian pakhan (Gang lord). Through some interesting story developments, Dylan has a brush with both Crime bosses and only his quick wit saves him!
Dylan has his old friend from NYPD – Elizabeth Needham to assist in the investigation and as the official go-between the mayor and the President. In fact, Dylan encourages Elizabeth to go rogue with her and only use her contacts within the department and outside to trace the footsteps of Carter and the whereabouts of the missing painting. The provenance of the painting goes back many years and how it came into the hands of Mathias remains a matter of conjecture. At this juncture a friendly foreign government enters the picture, claiming ownership of the painting. Dylan now has to gingerly step around the minefield that it has become.
In the ensuing cat and mouse game, Dylan and Elizabeth have their close shaves with death, in hair raising encounters with the Russian and Italian mobs but finally all questions are answered regarding the mystery of the missing son and the multi-million dollar painting. Dylan’s CIA friends come in handy too, though all official agencies are in the dark regarding the disappearance of the painting or what happened to Carter. In the biggest surprise (not so much if you are a fan of James Patterson), the identity of the mastermind is revealed – most fans would have figured that out by the time the climax rolls around.
Conclusion – Book Review of Steal
This is an underwhelming book according to me, the writing is fast and fluid as usual but the characters remain superficially explored and the storylines – many as they are – sometimes feel unrealistic and impractical. The climax is well expected and the Big Reveal isn’t that big after all! But the factory churns on and we as readers have little to complain. This remains, one of James Patterson’s most staid series which doesn’t really excite you much. Read only if you have nothing better to do or if you have read the earlier two in the series and are curious to find out.
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