Wednesday, June 19, 2013

i, michael bennett

i, michael bennett
michael bennett series #5
james patterson & michael ledwidge
little brown & co.
published 2012

Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous Mexican crime lord in a deadly chase that leaves Bennett's lifelong friend Hughie McDonough dead. From jail, the prisoner vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City-and to get revenge on Michael Bennett.
To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, on a much-needed vacation to his family's cabin near Newburgh, New York. But instead of the calm and happy town he remembers from growing up, they step into a nightmare worse than they could have ever imagined. Newburgh is an inferno of warring gangs, and there's little the police-or Bennett-can do to keep the children safe.
As violence overwhelms the state, Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. A partner in his investigations, federal prosecutor Tara McLellan, brings him new weapons for the battle-and an attraction that endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine.

I really did like the last book in the series, Tick Tock.  So sometime during the events in I, Michael Bennett my mind was completely changed.  I am close to hating Michael Bennett.

This time the story and writing were lacking so much that I just wanted to throw the book, or at least return it to the library and never look at it again.  I HATE cliches in abundance.  One or two throughout the book aren't so bad, but when you have entire chapters which contain some stupid pun or 90s commercial tagline in every paragraph it starts to grate on my nerves.  'I'd taken a licking, but I kept right on ticking.'  Followed by 'The luck o' the Irish indeed!'  Then there were some that just didn't make sense like 'I'm talking bed-bath-and-beyond pissed.'  Um, what?  Couldn't you just say I was beyond pissed?  Because I don't really associate Bed, Bath & Beyond with being very extreme.

Then we have the blaming the single mother for the state of the drug war in America.  Really??  Seamus on a conservative, religious rant says 'A mother can't control a fifteen-year-old young man by herself.'  Oh really?  Screw you.  I know plenty of single mothers who handled their sons just fine thankyouverymuch you sanctimonious prick.

He has to tell the reader every time he talks about her that Tara is 'his friend, assistant US attorney'.  Yes, we know she's your friend and yes, we know she's an assistant US attorney because we're reading and we don't have the memory of a goldfish.

Hughie is not a name from a grown up.  It's just not.

Bennett is no longer believable as a cop.  And he's a complete idiot when it comes to Mary Catherine.  I mean, complete idiot.  I find it hard to believe that he's so irresistible to the women in his life.  And they even have Tara saying moronic things like 'I've made a resolution to stop being nuts, okay?  Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.'  Seriously?  Who talks like this?!  I find it irritating that Patterson & Ledwidge want to portray women as insecure and so desperate for this man's attention that they will act completely out of character if he rejects them.  And what's wrong with Bennett simply saying to someone, 'I'm sorry, but I'm not available.'?  It never happens.  And when shit hits the fan he blubbers around like a baby and I can't say that I was rooting for a happy ending for him.

And speaking of ending.  WTF?  I was thinking to myself as I finished up the last quarter of the book, I'm done with this series.  Move over, Alex Cross my ass (that's the tagline on the cover of this book in hardcover).  Bennett doesn't come close to knocking Cross out.  But then that's not one where you think, 'oh wow!  I can't wait for the next book!'.  No, no, no.  More like 'What the fuck?!?!  Where's the rest of the goddamn book?!'

I'll give the Bennett's one more try.  Maybe things will get better?  Maybe this was just a hiccup?  I hope so.

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