James Patterson collaborates with David Ellis—one of the authors who is able to keep his pieces on track—for this sequel that will chill the reader almost as much as the original piece. Emmy Dockery is back, still licking the wounds after having blown the lid off a serial killer who masked his crimes under the radar, but she refuses to rest. Seeing links in apparent accidental deaths, Emmy is connecting dots and trying to make a case that a new serial killer is on the loose. However, her superiors at the FBI refuse to listen and want her to keep the investigation where it belongs, on the back burner and during her downtime. For now, Emmy is tasked with helping to crack a case that has the country talking, the nighttime bombings by Citizen David, an anonymous activist trying to representing the ‘little guy’. With news leaking to the public through a keen reporter, all eyes turn to Emmy as the one fuelling that fire. Emmy’s fiancé, Harrison ‘Books’ Bookman, has taken a step away from his past with the Feds and is working in a bookstore, trying to keep her from getting too far off the beaten path, though failing miserably. As the Citizen David investigation heats up, a killer lurks in the shadows, one who has been committing crimes that Emmy is discovering, though no one is yet ready to admit it. ‘Darwin’ is hiding in plain sight, masking his appearance and developing a backstory that will cover any tracks that might be visible. While Emmy is breathing down his neck, he seeks to throw everyone off the scent while also monitoring Emmy from afar. As the investigation heats up and Emmy is finally able to convince someone that there might be something to her off-duty sleuthing, the hunt for the mole intensifies, straining resources and the relationship Emmy needs so badly. But, will this serial killer get the best of everyone and create a pile of unsolved cases, while killing at random? Patterson and Ellis show why they are a masterful duo in this novel that will have the reader wanting to read on until the very end, stopping only when necessary. Recommended to those who loved the early Patterson novels, before he sold out, as well as the reader who loves a decent thriller.
I will be the first to admit that I have only a vague recollection of reading the debut in this series. This is not indicative of a poorly penned novel, but only that I read and review so much. However, after looking back at the review, I can remember a little more and knew I enjoyed it. The same can be said here, as I devoured this piece in short order, loving the twists and turns the authors presented. Emmy Dockery is a protagonist that the reader will easily enjoy, even if she becomes annoying at times. Her ability to get to the root of the issue and dedication is not lost on the attentive reader, even if she is socially stunted and unable to walk away from scouring for Darwin. The connection she has with Books is an on/off switch, but it is apparent that they need one another throughout this book, again. There are a handful of strong supporting characters, all of whom serve to intensify an already strong story with their own character development. One can only wonder if Patterson and Ellis will be back for another novel in the series and use some of these folks to help propel things even further. The story is strong and works well with this cast of characters, keeping the reader wondering throughout. The authors have used a few subplots to keep the overall storyline moving forward and it keeps the reader wondering, as they use their omnipotent view to amass all the information and are able to see the thriller from all angles. I’d gladly return to see if Emmy Dockery and her group have another case in them, though it would seem that anytime Patterson and Ellis work together, the magic follows.
Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Ellis, for another stellar novel. I am happy to see this collaboration working effectively and can only hope it continues.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons