Friday, January 4, 2013

I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Michael Bennett #5

          Michael Bennett is a New York police detective. He is invited to join a task force planning to bring down a notoriously violent Columbian drug lord when he comes to the city. Things don't go quite as planned; a running gun battle ensues moving from Madison Square Garden through Macy's department store. Bennett finally runs down and arrests the drug lord, but not before both civilians and cops are gunned down.

          The drug lord starts ordering retribution hits from his jail cell, starting with the people who knew about his impending visit and continuing with having the judge hearing his case assassinated in her own courtroom. Among others, he targets two of Michael Bennett's ten children. The boys are shot but not killed, and the would-be assassin is killed instead for missing his targets.

          Since trying to kill Bennett's kids did not get him to back off, the drug lord then tries a multimillion dollar bribe, which Bennett turns down flat. Then during the second day of Bennett's testimony at trial, an incredible, but successful, escape attempt is made. Shortly thereafter, a truck bomb is discovered outside Bennett's apartment building, one powerful enough to destroy the entire block. The decision is made to put Bennett's family in Witness Protection.

          The story ends as they are headed off to begin their new lives.

          This was not a bad story, but a couple of points strained my credulity. First, it apparently never occurs to Bennett that his family might become a target for the drug lord. Even after his kids are shot, he doesn't put it together. I'd think a detective, who should be suspicious and paranoid by nature, would not have needed that explained to him. Also, how are you going to put a single father with ten children - children of varying ethnicities - into witness protection effectively? I'm having trouble imagining that. I also had trouble throughout the story with the idea that Bennett did not move his brood out of the family home, except to go to the family vacation home, which is a yearly event. He arrested a guy who has a reputation for not just killing his enemies, but killing their families as well. There again, lack of suspicion and paranoia.

          Other than that, though, it was an entertaining read.


  1. Not a great book. It's probably not written by Patterson himself.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I agree that Patterson has stopped doing a lot of his own writing. He's just selling the use of his name.


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