Posts Tagged ‘James Patterson’

James Patterson,crimezine

Patterson fields a Player

Following Crimezines recent revelations regarding Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly’s prowess at put-put golf. Bazillionaire golfer and sometime crime writer Jimbo Patterson sent Crimezine this picture of his back yard.

Frankly Crimeziners, we are impressed that Jimbo has managed to hack his hundred acre patch of primo Floridian mangrove swamp into such marvelous shape. Apparently, very few servants or landscape gardeners were eaten by Alligators, or giant flying insects in the process. Hurrah!

A big debt of thanks must go to the Great Pattersonis head gardener Pablo. Eagle eyed Crimeziners might just be able to see Pablo’s humble groundsman’s cottage on the far side of Alligator inlet.

Naturally we assumed this candid snap of the Patterson Estate featured Pablo on the left clutching his masters shoulder supportively, But no! Shockerooo! The fine figure of manhood standing next to Jimbo is actually Grand Slamming Golf Legend Gary Player. If Jimbo has a golf coach like this, Golf neophytes Coben and Connelly would be best advised to take up another sport—table tennis for example. See you at the nineteenth hole Crimeziners.


Something bad is happening out there…Something very bad…

To see the latest Patterson tome you would think the J. Walter Thompson veteran and crime thriller master is losing his golden touch. The man who coined the phrase Toys R Us Kid has “teamed up” with Michael Ledwidge to come out with the snappily named ZOO.

Now as regular readers of Crimezine and the great Patersoni will know, the worlds most successful end of isle author is very fond of naming his bad guys after furry creatures—the Weasel, the Tiger, the Badger, the Oscelot, etc, so one can only assume that in this new tome we will meet the entire Faustian menagerie of Pattersonian villains in one mega-market sized volume.

Phew! It will undoubtedly be an unputdownable thrill-ride rollercoaster of a novel that will have you turning pages like your fingers are plugged into a Colombian drug cartel currency counter. But what’s this? The book has a plot!!!!

Jackson Oz, a young biologist, witnesses a “coordinated” lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come is terrifying. With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it’s too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.

Yikes! The creatures of Madagascar take over the world! Runnnnnnnnn!

For added hilarity the Patterson camp has compared this novel to Stephen King at his very best. Really? After all the Patterson/King spats? YGTBFG right?

Now we realize this novel isn’t exactly Crimezine fodder, in fact some may argue that Patterson has cruelly, deliberately, and with malice of forethought stopped writing crime novels just to spite us, but fear not Crimeziners, when Jimbo taunts us with a line like: Something bad is happening out there…Something very bad, it would be sheer bad manners for us not to pass comment. Have a crimetastic weekend Y’all.

John Grisham Theodore Boone

Teddy Boone: The Accused

Call us curmudgeonly but kiddie crime books? You have got to be kidding right? [chortle] Sadly Crimeziners we are not kidding, it appears crime hero’s everywhere are being deluged by long lost naughty nephews and nieces, and that means hi-jinx aplenty for crime obsessed youngsters. Hurrah for the half holidays!

John Grisham is the latest to diversify into the world of children’s publishing, with his fatuously named Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer. Really? Young Teddy will be clocking up billable hours and haranguing judges between Math homework and a marathon session on the Playstation? Sounds like every kids dream. The Accused the latest Theodore Boone read is available now.

Meanwhile to Crimezines great surprise, Mickey Bolitar, Harlan Coben’s kiddie character is going from strength to strength and a sequel to Shelter entitled Seconds Away is slated for release in August 2012. Coben teasingly revealed to Crimezine that Uncle Myron Bolitar, the East Coast’s most Sleuthsome sports Agent will have a larger role than before. Which suits us. Crimezine loves Coben and Bolitar too, lets hope young Mickey doesn’t have his naughty cousins Donald, Goofy and Pluto over to play, or all hell will break loose, especially If Bolitar cohort Windsor Horne Lockwood III is babysitting.

Marketing behemoth and sometime crime writer Big Jim Patterson has never been shy of brand diversification. It is no surprise then that the great man tuned into the literary needs of the Hairy Potter generation at an early stage. Patterson has now published literally zillions of Patterson branded kiddie products: Witches and Wizards, Daniel X, Middle School and probably a dozen more co-authored treats by the time you read this. No Jimmy Cross— Junior Detective yet, but give it time.

To his credit the great Pattersoni has dreamed up the worthwhile, if somewhat patronizingly monikered Read Kiddo Read, a scheme aimed at encouraging young readers The scheme recommends books such as Chomp By Carl Hiaasen and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye as well as the expected Patterson output.

So who else will be next to hawk a kiddie book? Crimezine would have placed long odds against Lee Child, but after reading his short story Second Son in which a teenaged Jack Reacher duffs up the school bully with a home made knuckle duster, and extracts his Marine Corps Pops from career ending shitola with his sleuthing skills, we are not so sure.

At this rate, it is only a matter of time before hard-bitten Detective Harry Bosch gets a knock on his door and discovers a wide-eyed infant child clutching a junior, fingerprinting kit in one hand and a HK P7 in the other. Or maybe Bosch sproglet Maddie will start up her own Detective Agency? Work the gig like the Rockford files, but with Old Man Bosch playing the rambunctious oldster, Harry is getting pretty long in the tooth after all… Watch this space Crimeziners.

Post script: If the idea of a Rockford Files remake has your salivary juices flowing, the word on Hollyweird Boulevard is that googly faced “funny man” Vince  Vaughn will be starring in a remake of the hit Seventies crime show… Leave your name, number and message and we’ll get back to you buddy.

James Patterson Private

Private on parade

James Patterson is to be congratulated. His latest crime series Private, is more than a book, it is a marketing concept, more ambitious than any other attempted in the history of crime publishing.

With Private, Big Jim has created a vast new crime franchise, to rival Honoré de Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine. Although with his army of elvish scribes working in tandem, this new Patterson project is rapidly developing in to an epic of biblical proportions.

Private sounds naughty—forbidden, you know you shouldn’t look inside, but you just cannot help yourself, the cover is big, golden and sexy, it has brand name credibility and end of aisle product placement, what could be the harm?

Patterson, a former head of brand marketeers J. Walter Thompson, just cannot help himself. He uses the phrase brand diversification, early in this novel, a term that appropriately describes both the Private organization and the vast Pattersonian empire that mirrors it.

Big Jim has needed  new product for a while. His Alex Cross novels have become increasingly ludicrous of late, and the Women’s Murder Club series, which he co-penned with fetchingly enigmatic Maxine Paetro, have surely burned themselves out at long last.

Meet Jack Morgan, the square jawed Marine back from the ‘hell’ of Afghanistan covered in glory and dead comrade. Poor Jack. He is getting puzzling flashbacks—he died out there, for Christ’s sake, but was resurrected! A miracle!

Cut to Jack meeting his pops in jail. Jack’s pops was a bad man and an even worse father, but now he repents! He gifts jack fifteen million dollars and files for his detective agency Private. Where did this run down old crook get fifteen-mil? We are never told. And the old man dies mysteriously in jail soon after, so we never get to find out.

Most people would have bought a luxury condo in Boca Raton and sipped cocktails for the rest of their days. Not Jack. Oh no.

Five years later, and Jack has turned that 15 million into a worldwide detective agency with better crime lab resources than either the LAPD or FBI. Wow! Jack is certainly a good businessman, for a psychologically disturbed Vet’ with a convict Dad and he drives a Lamborgini too. Cool! There are problems however, Jack’s Brother is as bad as Jack is good and to add insult to injury, eligible Jack is unlucky in love (sob!).

The Plot of the first Private book [there are at least three now] is a triple-header. Firstly, heroic Jack swings to the rescue of a life long friend, who’s wife turns out to be a smack-shooting, crack-head, who is selfishly whoring herself out, while her loving husband is at work.

Now Crimezine is no expert in these matters, but one would assume it would be hard not to notice, if your significant other was indulging in such behavior, more importantly, how could Jack, being such a life long friend of the family, not notice the tell tale clues? Drooling, facial sores, haddock-brained speech, vagrant hygiene? Who killed this lovely lady? Could it be the mafia? Gasp.

Next up, a team of dorkish computer-gamers are stubbing out the lives of young schoolgirls, using  hi-tec phone hacking software to get the inside track on the girls lives and lure them to their deaths. Really? If these dork-boy computer nerds could figure this out, surely they would be using the technology to steal money from financial institutions and use the proceeds to buy their twisted kicks elsewhere, like from the junkie hooker that Jack’s best friend is married to, for example?

Last, but no means least ,we are expected to believe that Jack’s Uncle is a big noise in the NFL and he needs Private’s help to uncover a multi-million dollar gambling scandal. It would appear that the research done for this strand of the story involved a cursory flick through the LA Times sports section, which is as lame as it is unforgivable.

It is perhaps inevitable, that such an ambitious novel, that tries so desperately to be all things to all men, will run the risk of satisfying no one.

Private is more bloated than a blowfish Ciabatta. The action is relentless, if unconvincing. We are expected to believe for example that a semi-automatic weapon can emit an: ‘unconstrained burst’ of gunfire, a lazy and dull-witted mistake for big-league crime writers. But the bloopers keep on coming.

We are told that Santa Monica is part of Beverly Hills, an error that reveals that neither Patterson or Paetro live in Los Angles, where the novel is set, although their name dropping of fancy-pants restaurants suggests the pair may have made an expenses paid daytrip to the city at some point. More likely they Googled up name checked locations, in a lazy Internet crawl.

The most annoying aspect of this novel however, is its derivative nature. It is hard to come up with new concepts for Detective fiction as it is such a classic genre, but Private is a veritable shopping list of clichés. We get a computer super geek with weirdo dress sense called Mo-bot We get a Q-like gadget specialist Dr Sci. The list goes on, and on, and the parallels to TV shows like CSI are glaring.

In conclusion Patterson fans will grin and bear this novel as per usual. It is clear that there will be a deluge of Private novels heading your way in the near future. Private Games; Private #1 suspect; and Private London, are all now available and if you are even vaguely interested in reading the series the first book is recommended.  Likewise, if you are concerned that your leather bound set of Honoré de Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine might get water damaged during your poolside vacation this year, Crimezine recommends you get your Privates out instead.

We knew big Jim Patterson loved us really, and here is evidence to prove it, a Christmas card from the great man’s most loved fictional family the Crosses. Did we say fictional? Sorry children we didn’t wish to spoil Xmas for you. Alex Cross is as real as it is possible for a real person to be. And very soon he will be shinning down your chimney in his fluffy animal serial killer slippers, to deliver gifts of roller-coaster excitement and page turning thrill a minute hyperbole. Make sure your stockings are attached to the fire mantel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crimezine Patterson Arrested

James Patterson: Lifting the spirits of children

It has been a busy week on Mulholland Drive Crimeziners. The hurricane force winds that have been battering Los Angeles have caused siren blaring chaos on a city-wide scale, but nowhere has the whirlwind of damage and trauma been more keenly felt than on Mulholland Drive.

The streets most cantankerous senior Jack Nicholson has had his entire Christmas display blown from his roof, and we are not talking just flashing lights and a couple of amusing snow men here. The Chinatown star had a life sized Santa and Sleigh nailed to the eves, along with a full team of plastic glow in the dark reindeer.

When the tempest took the Nicholson display airborne, disappointed children from as far away as Pasadena jammed the switchboards at local news stations with reports that Santa Claus was on his way, before they had chance to compose their finely detailed demands for consumer durables and place the traditional ‘carrot for Rudolph’ under their collective Christmas trees. Sob!

Spectacular though it was seeing the Nicholson display soar into the Hollyweird night, along with various car crushing eucalyptus trees and an assorted selection of Jennifer Aniston’s lawn furniture, Crimezine is chastened at the thought of so many tiny tear stained pillows.

We can confirm however that James Patterson will be making the rounds of local Xmas Grotto’s dressed in full Santa garb to lift the spirits of the little ones, by doling out free copies of his latest festive book The Christmas Wedding.

Crimezine would obviously prefer some carcinogenic Chinese candy and a 10 cent plastic toy same as usual, but apparently it is not possible to cater to all ages and tastes at such events.

Meanwhile Crimezine has spent the past days retrieving Christmas decorations and lawn furniture from  all over Hollywood.  Witches of Eastwick star Nicholson  has promised to take us to the Patterson grotto in his newly acquired WWII German half-track, which has lifted our storm ravaged spirits immeasurably.

We fear however that the neighborhood watch will be writing a strongly worded letter of rebuke to the Postman Always Rings Twice star  as he has been warned about stockpiling military vehicles in his front yard on a number of occasions.

Crimezine-Magnum Charlie Beck

Left to right: Tom, Magnum Pi, Selleck, LAPD’s Charlie, yard brush, Beck

Crimeziners must surely have noticed the uncanny similarities between LAPD Chief Charlie, yard brush, Beck and Tom, Magnum PI, Selleck the nineteen eighties most mustachioed private investigator. Seperated at birth? We leave that to the conscience of the individual Crimeziner, but the photographic evidence is damning.

Here is the evidence, the Beck /Selleck nexus is so strong, that the mustachioed crime fighting twins have the same bizarre fashion sense. Off duty, Beck can often be seen in garish Aloha shirts and junk hugging snow wash denims. Likewise  Selleck parades around Los Angeles in rumpled police chief garb, while chairing yawnsome news conferences. Zzzzzzz

In a further twist to this stranger than fiction saga Magnum lived in the mansion of millionaire Robin Masters a “celebrated but never seen author of lurid novels” Surely this means that Machiavellian crime mastermind James Crimezilla Patterson is at bottom of this affair?  Perhaps this is evidence of the duplicator ray he has been fiendishly developing with the North Koreans, so that he might reward us with even more of his #1 bestselling fiction?

Interestingly however, Selleck and Beck have never actually been spotted together at the same time, leading Crimezine to believe that the Tasche twins are actually one and the same person.

James Patterson-Kill Alex Cross, Crimezine, Tony-Bulmer

Killer Read?

Kill Alex Cross? Crimezine likes Alex Cross, let’s get that clear from the start. We even like James Patterson. But there is a problem, here’s why. Big Jim stopped writing good books a few years back and started dishing up the literary equivalent of junk food McMeals to go.

Boy do those meals taste good though! Larded high-fat plot lines, sugar rush characterization, glossy buy me packaging. This is an addictive combination, but the problems are obvious: Literary indigestion on an epic scale, dysfunctional binge/purge reading habits,  leading to narrative malnutrition and a myriad other page turning disorders, that not even Pepto-Bismol and and a lay down in a darkened room can solve.

Why is this?

Big Jim is a born ad man. As CEO of mega-money Advertising Agency J. Walter Thompson, he worked some of the biggest corporate ad’ sales accounts in America, from Kodak to Burger King, Big Jim dealt with them all: lean copy and sales spin for the fattest corporations and the fastest of fast moving consumer goods in the world. There is no doubt that Patterson transposed his experience  in the field of big league advertising to the world of publishing and in that respect he is a true innovator.

The historical evolution of James Patterson writer, is key to understanding his current work. Crimeziners who are fans of the Pattersonian Oeuvure may remember the great mans debut 1976 novel The Thomas Berryman Number, a densely plotted Chandleresque work, quite different to recent Patterson Novels. In 1989 Patterson wrote the book Midnight Club, as he was fleshing the outline, he figured that he could strip out extraneous literary embellishments and focus on plot rather than on the composition of sentence by sentence structure.

This led to the infamous Patterson style: short chapters . Short paragraphs. Short sentences. Big Jim reasoned that this style made his books easier to read, less elitist. It is no accident that the first Alex Cross book Along Came a Spider followed directly after this (1993) This was proved to be a crucial turning point, as Big Jim threw a large ammount of his own money into developing a TV ad’  to pump sales for this book, a move that publisher Little Brown was initially reluctant to back. But Big Jim’s shrewd ad’ man smarts paid dividends.  The ad’ launched both Alex Cross and James Patterson Author into the Crime Thriller major leagues.

So back to the title of this weeks Alex Cross book. The real question here is who wants to Kill Cross? Is it Patterson, is it the reader? Or is it one of the myriad serial killers with fluffy animal names that have been pursuing Cross through the past eighteen books in the series? The Tiger, the Weasel, the Badger? Who frankly cares anymore?

There is a serious malaise in the Patterson/Cross camp. Washington Post literary hack Patrick Anderson has described Big Jim’s writing as: the absolute pits, the lowest common denominator of cynical, scuzzy, assembly-line writing. Crimezine feels this is a trifle harsh. Best selling writer Steven King has called Patterson a horrible writer who writes dopey thrillers. Owch! or should that be a Pattersonian Owch!!!

But Big Jim is not a man who listens to criticism. He points  out, quite rightly: There are thousands of people who don’t like what I do. Fortunately, there are millions who do.

This is quite true. Millions buy Patterson’s books, in the same way they buy other fast moving consumer goods, but as ad’ man Patterson should realize, brand loyalty can be eroded, some times to disastrous effect and big brand complacency can often lead to major balance sheet disappointment.

Big Jim is diversifying into other literary markets, but  he is ignoring his core competency, this is dangerous.  Many readers , Crimezine included are begining to wonder if Big Jim cares anymore. Is he so rich and complacent, trundling around that Floridian golf course every morning, that he no longer cares what his loyalest fans think? Perhaps he assumes he can serve up any kind of literary slop he chooses, and we, his readers, will chow it down no questions asked?

Conan Doyle grew to loathe Sherlock Holmes. He tried to kill him off (albeit unsuccessfully) at the Reichenbach falls. James Patterson seems to be offering Alex Cross an altogether more painful and slow burning demise, one that is mired in cliche, preposterous plot lines and the kind of smug contempt for readers that is sure to end in very genuine tears.

If you are still brave enough to face the latest installment of the Alex Cross saga, If you want to find out how he rescues the presidents children, and saves millions of Americans from a poisoned water supply, in time to rush home to Nana Mamma and the cutsie-pie kids, Kill Alex Cross is availabe in Hardback now.

Crimezine always knew Big Jim Patterson had a sensitive side ,and following our post on his farcical Wedding Gift book Christmas Wedding the great man chose to reach out to us, displaying the sort of touching  emotional responsiveness that so many of his great works are famous for.


Patterson: Sensitive

After reaching teary eyed for the box of hankies we always have at our side when reading one of Jimbo’s literary offerings, we thought it would  be appropriate to share the Pattersonian missive verbatim with Crimeziners. So here it is:

A lot of my characters get into some really awful situations, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings; like when I see a person cry… oh, I just get miserably uncomfortable. So, when I heard THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING was making readers teary-eyed, I figured I better do something… to humor them. So here’s the deal: I’ll put up a photo from my wedding when 10,000 people let me know if they cried while reading THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING. Spoiler Alert: It’s just possible I had more facial hair in those days!  

James Patterson

So you see Crimeziners, emotions are not a thing to be trifled with, especially when you have the powers of the literary muse so firmly on your side. Oh, the tinkle of 10,000 tears, it is too much to bear… Crimezine includes a cheering picture of Big Jim, in the hope it will raise your spirits. Be strong Crimeziners, Be strong.

Everyone likes a nice wedding, which is just as well, as there are not one but two wedding related additions to the Patterson oeuvre  this week, Christmas Wedding, which Jimbo “Wrote” with Pattersonian elf, Richard DiLallo and the eagerly awaited mass market release of the latest Alex Cross book Cross Fire, which Big Jim wrote with no apparent help from anyone.

First up Christmas Wedding and Big Jim is bravely hawking this one in person, live and diect on the interweb! Thrill to the

James Patterson-Crossfire-Crimezine-Tony Bulmer

Cross Fire

great mans reedy monotone: A bride walks down the aisle on Christmas day, three men wait for her, only one will be the groom: James Patterson’s Christmas Wedding, get out the hankies… Thanks Jimbo, but here at Crimezine we like the tears of derisory laughter to run free and unchecked.

Cross Fire, sees the great man return to form, in the genre he does best: the big budget crime thriller. And Patterson delivers as usual: lots of juicy murders,  dirty congressmen, an  intractable mystery and  a dark alliance with FBI agent Max Siegel, and to cap it all off poor Alex has to put his wedding plans to voluptuous squeeze Bree on hold (sob!).

Thankfully Big Jim has heeded Crimezine’s pleas to lay off the fluffy animal serial killers in this latest tome, which is a welcome relief. But oh, no! Alex Cross’s dastardly nemesis Kyle Craig is back… and there is nothing worse than a psycho Fed serial killer to put the kibosh on a chaps nuptials.

Patterson is a master of the unexpected twist and the final face off between Cross and Craig is classic Patterson. One cannot help but wonder why Jimbo doesn’t focus on the genre he does best. At this stage of the game he surely doesn’t have to hawk cheesy gift books, such as the Christmas Wedding for the cash? According to Forbes He struck an eleven book publishing deal in 2009, for $150 million, which for Jimbo and his elvish clan is about three months work.

Cross Fire By James Patterson
ISBN: 031603617X
432 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Mass Market
ISBN: 0446574716
384 pages
Grand Central Publishing