James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 375 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
Here's a change of pace for Edgar Award winner Patterson, best known for thrillers like Along Came a Spider. Katie is heartbroken when her new love disappears, but it gets worse when she reads the diary he left with her. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Say what? A women's weepy from the megaselling author of the hard-boiled Alex Cross mysteries? Yes, and it's not the stretch some might imagine. Patterson has demonstrated his flair for female POV and characters in the stand-alone When the Wind Blows and in his current bestseller, 1st to Die and Cross himself has his gooey side. So how good is the novel? Good enough to lightly pluck the heartstrings and to impress with its craft and its calculation. As usual, Patterson mixes first- and third-person narration. Katie Wilkinson is a Manhattan book editor who's been inexplicably left by her lover and star author, a Martha's Vineyard poet named Matt. After he splits, Matt mails Katie the diary kept by his wife, Suzanne, for their young son. Katie reads it (the novel's extensive first-person passages) and reacts to it (briefer third-person interludes). The diary details how physician Suzanne, recovering from a heart attack at age 35, forsakes the rat race, moves to Martha's Vineyard and finds bliss with Matt, a housepainter who reads Moby-Dick and writes strong poems, and with their newborn son, Nicholas. The novel sloshes with sentiment (some of it quite icky) and simple spiritual truths, while acknowledging the reality of pain and loss: rose bushes galore, with thorns. Patterson sustains suspense through clever plotting and by Katie's wondering about the fate of Suzanne and Nicholas; what's finally revealed pushes her, and the novel, to a bittersweet conclusion. Patterson is one smart author (here, he dazzles with his use of refrains, stories-within-stories and romance novel tropes); this jump into another genre won't hurt his reputation as a master of popular lit. (July) Forecast: A lovely dust jacket featuring a title in violet script trumpets this as a love story. Will Patterson's fans buy it? Some mostly women yes. And a 12-city author tour and major print and TV publicity will draw in enough new fans, most of them also women, to float the title onto bestseller lists though not at Alex Cross numbers. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.