James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Grand Central, Jun 2010, $14.99
He left LAPD to become a reporter and writer while also still performing limited inquiries. Currently LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is in Hawaii investigating the disappearance of model Kim McDaniels. He meets with Kim’s hysterical parents who offer very little in the way of leads.
The former police detective fears for Kim’s life as he believes brutal serial killing Henri Benoit has captured her for whatever fiendish ritual he will perform. Returning unsuccessfully to Southern California, Ben is stunned when Henri offers him a deal he cannot refuse. Ben will write Henri’s authorized biography in exchange for allowing the ex cop and his girlfriend to live.
Not their best collaboration (see the Women’s Murder Club series for that), the fascination with this serial killer thriller lies totally with the psychopath as he relates his murderous escapades; in some ways the plot feels like an autobiography of I am killer. Hawkins and company come across feeble and frightened in a game of chess in which the brilliant madman checkmates the hero more often than Fischer did Spassky in Iceland. Although an over the top of the Sierras abrupt too neat climax occurs, readers who enjoy something different will appreciate Swimsuit.