Becky’s One Hundred and Eleventh Book Review: “Tick Tock” by James Patterson

The book review that I wrote earlier was focused on how deprived my classical education has been. I probably will never get to a point where I don’t believe that I need to read more books. Either way, I did very recently have another new reading experience. I read my very first James Patterson book. Quite a shock, I know. The book that I chose to read in order to break into the world of James Patterson was “Tick Tock”.

I will say that I went into the book very judgmental, although more often than not I trust my parents’ judgement on books, I am always cautious about reading something considered a ‘bestseller’. This is for a few reasons, but mainly because there have been several best sellers in the recent past that I have read and found myself sorely disappointed in. Luckily for me, “Tick Tock” did not fall into that category.

The premise for “Tick Tock” is a NYC detective, Michael Bennett, tries to take a vacation with his family at the beach (all ten of his adopted children and his live-in nanny). In the midst of all this, he is called back to work when it seems like some of the worse criminals in history are once again making an appearance in New York City. There is a copy cat out there…one who is leaving notes addressed to Michael Bennett, and copying some of the sickest minds that history has known. This includes the Son of Sam and Albert Fish. Two of the more infamous serial killers. I have gotten in the habit of not reading the back cover of a book (which is probably how I missed that this was a book in a series) and so I had no idea this was the premise of the book. If I had known, I probably wouldn’t have let it sit on my shelf for months.

The first chapter I thought was a little slow. Then I kept reading…very quickly I found myself devouring the book. I really liked the way that Patterson was able to find humor in serious situations. One example of this would be, “I hate seemingly violent nuts, I thought as I got on the Belt Parkway. Especially ones who really seem to know what they’re doing.” (Tick Tock, pg 34). Then there was this statement which I just really liked, “Our culprit really did seem like a monster out of some primordial ooze, the personification of antihuman evil. Hank’s knee-jerk reaction about it was spot-on as well. What do you do when you find a nasty bug crawling up your arm? You slap it off and crush it under your foot and keep squashing it until it isn’t there anymore. You do your darnedest to erase it out of existence.” (Tick Tock, pg 159). This was just such a great statement, I felt the need to make a note of it. I think that it also accents the way that Patterson writes. Yes, he has humor in his novels, but he also is able to twist language into statements like that which just leave you wanting more.

There were a lot of different moments in “Tick Tock” that I found to be both amusing and just true. I think he has a knack for bringing characters to life and I’m sure that is a big factor of why he is a bestselling author. The main character, Michael Bennett is very entertaining for one. At one point he is hanging out outdoors at the beach and says, “I’d just finished my beer and was having a staring contest with a shady-looking seagull perched on my rusty rain gutter when my phone rang.” (Tick Tock, pg 302). This sentence actually made me laugh out loud.

Unfortunately, the book is part of a series and I happened to pick up NOT the first one. But it seems more like a series with just the main character leading the story and not one where there are cliffhangers. I am looking to get my hands on the rest of Patterson’s books now. I am glad that I finally broke through that barrier. The real question is would I recommend this to someone else? Yes — most definitely. I think that Patterson does have a strong gift when it comes to writing and I cannot wait to devour the rest of his works.

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