The River Murders (Three Mitchum BookShots), by James Patterson and James O. Born

Eight stars

As I open this collection of three BookShots by James Patterson and James O. Born, I turned immediately to the third and most recent story. Having read the other two beforehand, I post my reviews of them below, as well as the new review for the final story. Enjoy the flashback and some new thoughts, if you please!


James O. Born works alongside James Patterson in the first of this BookShot series that will have readers hooked and quite curious as they travel to upstate New York. Mitchum enjoys the quiet life in Marlboro, away from the fast-paced living of NYC, but still surrounded by a community that thrives on the daily bustle. When he learns that his niece, Bailey Mae, has gone missing, this unofficial P.I. takes matters into his own hands. Working with the local sheriff’s detachment and those around town, Mitchum learns that three shady individuals have been seen around town. Bailey Mae’s famous coffee cakes prove a useful trail, though when two elderly residents are found murdered in their home and a fresh cake sits on the counter, Mitchum becomes more concerned. His past training as a Navy SEAL allows him to forge headlong into the search, still trying to determine who these strangers might be and if they are involved in the kidnapping, or if Bailey Mae is somehow involved. Forced to turn to his drug-dealing brother, Mitchum uses whispers on the street to help him track down any evidence that might lead to Bailey Mae’s safe return. Time is running out, but family ties seem to be unbreakable for Mitchum, fuelling his determination to bring a happy ending to this small town. A quick and captivating story for BookShot fans and those who need a little thrill with their coffee. Patterson and Born have a recipe for success here!

I am on a roll with my current BookShots binge, having found some real winners out there. There is usually little time for character development, but the authors have been able to weave the story of Robert ‘call me Mitchum’ Mitchum into the fabric of this thriller. The small town feel to the story is not lost on the reader, as Mitchum combs through the residents to garner enough clues to help solve the case. Additionally, the vast array of characters on offer may prove useful if the series continues past the next-known published piece. The story itself is interesting and the short chapters keep the story propelling forward without the reader feeling too stuck in any single environ. Patterson and Born work well together and bring the story to life, just as I would expect with a BookShot, which leaves little time to catch one’s breath. I need to get my hands on the next story in the series, as I am still highly impressed with what I’ve read.


James O. Born returns to work alongside James Patterson again in the follow-up BookShot of the Mitchum series. Readers will likely remain impressed with this piece, as it has all the impact of a great short story without losing any of the needed character and story development. Mitchum enjoys his quiet life in upstate New York, where he can deliver his daily newspapers and run an unofficial P.I. business on the side. When his brother, Natty, calls with a problem, Mitchum seems skeptical. However, when a homicide is involved, the brothers reunite, post haste. Mitchum learns that a high school friend has been slain, potentially by a fellow drug dealer. As one who ‘enhances recreational activities’ himself, Natty can attest to the fact that there are some out there who want nothing more than to bury Peter Stahl, but not before discovering the secret he has about a new and ‘hot’ commodity for the street. As Mitchum works to iron out all the details, he learns that Natty is deeply in love with the deceased’s wife, which could prove to be a problem. Before Mitchum can learn much more, Natty been hauled away to jail, the primary suspect in the murder. It is now a race to find the true killer and clear Natty’s name, forcing Mitchum to look under every rock, where corrupt figures wait for their slice of the pie. A wonderful follow-up piece that pushes the reader into the middle of the action as Mitchum forges ahead at top speed. BookShot fans will surely enjoy this piece, both for its excitement and quick pace.

This weekend of BookShot reading has proven to be highly useful and I have come across a number of wonderful pieces. James O. Born surely has a handle on this series, which continues to build, and avid readers can only hope that Patterson will turn to him many more times in the future. While short, the story allows more character development as it relates to Robert ‘call me Mitchum’ Mitchum, both from a familial perspective and with his own personal sentiments. The reader can enjoy a dash of sarcasm and some heartfelt emotion without missing out on what ends up being something worth the hour of reading time. The story is by no means unique, but it holds the attention of the read throughout, paced with short chapters and quick development. Anyone who needs a decent filler between major reading assignments can turn to this piece and not be disappointed. I can only hope that Mitchum will be back soon, rising to the top amidst the supersaturation of BookShots in the e-book domain. Readers ought to keep an eye out for these and will surely find something to appeal to their thriller side.


James Patterson and James O. Born return for a third short novel (BookShot) in this interesting series. Mitchum continues to work as an unofficial P.I., but the work is less than invigorating in the small community near Marlboro, in upstate New York. When his mother is hit by a vehicle, witness statements make it seem to have been intentional. Working with his reformed brother, Natty, Mitchum tries to determine who would be doing such a thing. Soon, a man from his past emerges to threaten Mitchum and tells him to stand down. During the confrontation, Natty’s shot and the man flees, protected by the feds for reasons unknown. Mitchum takes up a friend’s offer to work security in Afghanistan, which will allow him to keep tabs on this mystery man. However, things take a turn and Mitchum finds himself in trouble in a faraway land with no one aware of his situation. Will Mitchum be able to find the answers he needs and keep his family safe from any further fallout from all his impetuous actions? Another great addition to the Mitchum series, which has worked very well in all three pieces. Recommended for fans of Patterson’s BookShots, as well as those readers who enjoy a quick story to pass the time.

While I have never shied away from sharing my issues with James Patterson’s writing over the years, I have always enjoyed reading his BookShots, which give a full adventure in only half the time. I remember reading the other two books in this series back when I was on a BookShots binge and enjoyed them. This third piece was a wonderful return to what I remembered enjoying. Mitchum is still trying to mix tranquility of small town living with staying mentally sharp. He remains a strong family man, as protective as he can be, but still seeks to find his niche. This story provides him a new opportunity to find his way, which will hopefully work out for the best. Others in the story help propel things forward effectively, complementing Mitchum on occasion, or pushing him to his limits at other times. The story was well-crafted, showing the effectiveness of the Patterson-Born collaboration. I have found they work well together and keep the stories fresh, intense, and poignant as the reader follows the narrative path with ease. Patterson’s short chapter recipe is one display here and it keeps the story moving effectively forward. I hope there are more ideas, Mitchum and otherwise, from these two and will keep my eyes open.

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Born, for another wonderful collection of stories that entertain as well as educate the reader in short order.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: