Expanding on their successful BookShot in the same series, James Patterson and Max DiLallo return to New Orleans and the delicious antics of Caleb Rooney. When he is not operating his high-end food truck alongside his ex-wife, Caleb Rooney is working hard for the NOPD. At least he was until he was stripped of his badge after an excessive force complaint. Focussing all his time on the food business, Caleb is still forced to keep a lookout for those who may hold a grudge. When he learns that the FBI’s in town, following up on chatter about a potential terrorist attack, Caleb is sought out by his former chief to work off the radar to help protect the city. The plan appears to be tied to an attack at Mardi Gras, when the city comes to life and the casualty count can be highest. As he begins to investigate, Caleb finds some interesting threads the Feds have overlooked. He’s also been targeted a few times by attacks, in hopes of tossing him off the trail. Undeterred, Caleb works to help foil the plan, but finds that every suspect leads to a dead end. During the investigation, Caleb’s attention is caught by a local competitor’s wife. He knows the dangers, but Caleb find himself unable to resist, which only adds a larger target to his own back. It is only when the Feds discover what has been going on that the trouble really begins, forcing Caleb to choose between his civilian limits and protecting the city he loves. In a powerhouse novel that is just as good as its prequel BookShot, Patterson and DiLallo prove that they are a wonderful team. Recommended to those who enjoy thrillers with a delectable twist—and not of lemon—this is a story not to be dismissed.
I took a gamble on this latest Patterson novel, hoping that it would follow in the footsteps of its prequel. Not only was the writing of a high caliber, but I could not get enough of all the delicious dishes whose mention pepper the narrative. Caleb Rooney is as sharp as the knives used to make his various creations. Able to think on his feet and concoct dishes and plans of attack on his feet, the reader will soon discover that he is a complex and relatable character in equal measure. Like many civilian protagonists in this genre, it is curiosity and gumption that fuels his personal fire and keeps him from letting go, even in the face of adversity. Surrounded by interesting supporting characters, the story develops at a quick pace but never loses its momentum. With great discussion of the setting (New Orleans at Mardi Gras) and great sounding dishes, the story has many points of interest to keep the reader interested. With a mix of short and longer chapters, the story pulls the reader in and offers much throughout its development. I can only hope that Patterson and DiLallo take note of the wonderful writing they have done and help create a series out of this, which may help the former author churn out better novels, rather than the sausage factory of unknown quality that sells simply because of the JP emblazoned across the cover.
Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and DiLallo, for this great piece of work. I can only hope you see a winner, which is sure to garner the literary equivalent to mass publication Michelin stars.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons