The new Michael Bennett novel Tick Tock starts with a blast – well almost. The police just about find a bomb in a busy area of New York just before it is set off. However like many James Patterson crime thrillers this is only the beginning – a warning worse is to come. The city desperately needs to bring down this ruthless, organized, deadly virtuous psychopathic mastermind and who will they turn to? Who else? Michael Bennett!
You would think the guy already has a lot more to think about on the old personal front. The bloke’s trying to enjoy a spot at the seaside with his ten adopted children, his grandfather – an Irish priest, who will literally have your arse if you speak out of line, and the children’s nanny, Mary Catherine, who Mike just happens to be developing something for.The break is a little jagged, as the family are being targeted by a couple of neighbourhood toughs well-known in the area. So back to work is probably the best policy for Mike!
Suddenly a series of crimes begin to take off. Michael enrolls the assistance of FBI agent Emily Parker, to take down this murderer. As they delve further into the case, Michael finds himself developing attraction for Emily, at the same time surprising changes happen to Michael’s relationship with Mary Catherine. The questions are neatly left out there for the reader to dig deep and find. Can Michael and Emily bring down this barbaric monster before he manages to execute the extreme layers of his plot? And what is the future for Michael and Mary Catherine or even Michael and Emily?
This book is very similar to many other James Patterson novels. By no means is this a weakness, in fact I would say its the reason why I picked it up and why I liked it so much. Like all Patterson novels, the chapters are freakily short meaning the book is going at a fucking exuberant pace. Given that it is such a fast read I know it sounds cliched but it truly is a page turner. At times you just can’t put the book down because there is always a cliff hanger at the end of a chapter meaning you just have to carry on reading. And given the chapters are so short you find yourself half way through the book in a matter of hours.
That leads me onto another good point about the book. The intensity and drama which heightens is the book is the main pull. Throughout the story is packed with action, electricity and plot twists and turns. You are constantly turning the pages, recklessly, dangerously (like the fanatics of the killer) trying to find out what’s going to happen, trying to unravel another layer of the complex detail of the killer’s ploy. I say complex but because the chapters are so short its really easy to read and follow the story. Whether this lack of convolusion is a problem for the story I don’t think so. It’s what gives Tick Tock and most James Patterson books the edge and electric pace, the reason why you catch yourself rifling through the James Patterson region of the crime fiction shelves at Waterstones.
Michael Bennett is a loveable protagonist. Whilst dealing with this unpredictable killer,he has own issues to deal with. His children are being bullied and
He is also torn by who he is most affection for – Mary Catherine or Emily Parker. So the book works quite well on a personal level as we are really drawn to his problems and in the end we vouch for him. We want him to bring down this murderer and we want him to find the balance in his life which he deserves.
My all-time favourite character from James Patterson would have to be Alex Cross. You can never compare Michael Bennett to the great Alex Cross but he is definitely developing into a terrific character and I will be very interested to read more books in this series.