The Verdict (Jon Roscoe #2): A BookShot, by James Patterson and Robert Gold

Eight stars

Patterson and Gold return for another joint writing assignment in the BookShot collection. Jon Roscoe remains head of Global Security for the Tribeca Luxury Hotel chain, anchoring himself at the glamorous London establishment. During a high-profile criminal trial, the hotel is housing the defendant, billionaire Harvey Rylands. Accused of attempting to murder his lover, Elegant Daniels, Rylands has done all he can to drag out alternate theories of the crime, while acting as though he is above reproach. However, Daniels delivers some damning testimony that could seal the fate of the defendant as she hints that his temper and her demand not to be the scorned lover must have fuelled the attempts to see her die. During an investigation of a hotel security breach, Roscoe discovers some information that thickens the plot on Rylands’ past, one that could weigh heavily on motive, as the trial that currently sits in the jury’s hands. Roscoe can only hope the truth comes out and sets free those who are the most deserving. A fast-paced story that will keep the reader flipping pages until the final paragraph.

Since the launch of the BookShots publications, Patterson has been able to turn the calibre of writing attributed to him from lacklustre to, at times, pristine. Gold offers up some wonderful ideas in crafting the second Roscoe piece that proves entertaining as well as captivating. The characters are, again, decently developed, though Roscoe remains front and centre in this story again. The premise is not new, but it is also not regurgitated in such a way that the reader tires of it. I found myself speeding through the chapters, hooked on wanting to move forward, which is surely the test of any novel or short story. Patterson shines, but nothing is more brilliant than Gold, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Gold for this great piece. I cannot wait for the next Jon Roscoe BookShot in the coming months.