Burn by James Patterson (Michael Bennett #7)

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Detective Michael Bennett finally returns to New York City – and to the most unsettling, horrific case of his career. At last, Detective Michael Bennett and his family are coming home to New York City. Thanks to Bennett, the ruthless crime lord whose vengeful mission forced the Bennett family into hiding has been brought down for good. Back in the city that never sleeps, Bennett takes over a chaotic Outreach Squad in Harlem, where he receives an unusual call: a man claims to have seen a group of well-dressed men holding a bizarre party in a condemned building. With no clear crime or evidence, Bennett dismisses the report. But when a charred body is found in that very same building, he is forced to take the caller seriously – and is drawn into an underground criminal world of terrifying depravity.

Kat’s Review: Mmmmm, I’m feeling a bit weird about this one. On the one hand the return of Michael Bennett and his clan was brilliant and fast-paced and all the usual descriptions. However, on the other hand there is a part of me that is a little bit disappointed in this latest release. Michael Bennett is fast becoming my favoured Patterson lead, and when he and his 10 kids and the nanny return to New York it seems like life is finally returning to normal. However as is always the case (especially in a Patterson book), normal is when you are managing a murder case or multiple killers!!! What threw me initially was Bennett’s re-assignment to a chaotic ‘outreach squad’ in Harlem. 

The outreach squad consists of coppers that aren’t wanted anywhere else. What happened though was the story and the characters were heating up nicely and I really started getting into the book. The initial storyline consisted of a bizarre complaint they had received from a man claiming to have seen a very bizarre party involving some well-dressed men. What at first seems like a complete waste of time, turns into the closest thing to a nightmare you could imagine. Now so far, so good right? Er, yes…but that is where it ends.

To my surprise, Patterson and Ledwidge then decide to throw in another case back on the Major Organised Crime desk involving some robberies that are rapidly getting bigger by the day. Add in some lovely romance between Bennett and Mary Catherine and finally a sick grandfather, and Bob’s your Uncle…your book is too crowded! Well, at least that how it seemed which is why I only rated it middle of the road. Lose the robberies, and the sick and ageing grandparent and the book would have been another belter? Instead it seemed like they had to cram in as much as humanly possible and then wrap it all up neatly with a bow on top.

 Unfortunately this latest Bennett just didn’t hit the spot. This is too busy, but with essentially a fantastic main storyline (Such a shame). I will as always look forward to the next one and just hope it’s not as disjointed as this one.

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