Saturday, September 10, 2011

Now You See Her, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge




            I recently finished listening to the audio book version of Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.  It was a pretty good read, filled with suspense and plot twists.  I’d give it an 8, although I doubt I’ll read it again. 

          It begins in Key West with a group of college students on spring break.  You can’t pick a much better setting than that.  Through a series of unfortunate choices the main character finds herself facing drunk driving, car theft and vehicular manslaughter charges.  She is “saved” however by a young police officer who chooses not to arrest her, but instead helps her cover up the crime.  She ends up married to him. 

          After a couple of years of blissful marriage in paradise, our poor, na├»ve heroine discovers her husband is a really bad guy who kills people who cross him.  She also discovers she is pregnant, a situation her husband is not going to be happy about. She decides the only way out for her and her child is to fake her own death, and start a new life far from Florida. 

          She lays her plans carefully, intending to make it look like she has become the next victim of a serial killer who has been plaguing south Florida for some time – the Jump Killer.  While making her escape, however, she runs into the killer himself; a friendly fellow with a British accent and a Jack Russell terrier. As bad as that luck is, she luckily manages to escape his clutches, and, makes her way out of the Keys and into a new life.           

          She gives birth to a daughter, finds a job, goes to law school and becomes a successful lawyer in New York using the new identity she created. 

It is now 17 years later.

          Her law firm requests that she help a group of lawyers with a pro bono innocence project designed to ensure that inmates on death row are truly guilty of their crimes.   The case she ends up with is that of the Jump Killer on death row in Florida.  One look at the case files tells her that the wrong man has been convicted – the convict is black, the man she escaped from is white. 

          While terrified that her whole new existence will blow apart, she cannot in good conscience allow an innocent man to die just to keep her secret.  So she goes to Florida determined to find justice for the man.  I

In doing that, she is recognized by her husband.  And the chase is on. 

With the help of the innocent man’s lawyer, she finds a way to clear the death row inmate’s name without blowing her own cover. But she ends up telling the other lawyer her whole story to gain his help in keeping her alive, and bringing her husband to justice. 

The story ends well with everyone living happily ever after. 

I enjoyed listening to this one.  There were a couple of spots where I had to stop and think “I didn’t see that one coming” as the twists occur.  There was one point where the innocent man’s execution is drawing uncomfortably close and I feared it would proceed.  I couldn’t listen to another description of an innocent person being executed in error like I had in John Grisham’s The Confession.  I almost turned it off there, but I stuck with it, and was rewarded with a stay of execution. 

         

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