Swimsuitby James Patterson (Century)
There are people in the world who pay big money to indulge their secret fantasies. And the dirtier the secret, the bigger the money. They use the internet to source, commission, watch and spread video material of people being raped, tortured and killed. Fetish videos. Snuff movies.

These people are evil. Sick. Despicable. Right?


Well, yes. Of course.

Yet when we pick up a book like Swimsuit, we read eagerly, breathlessly. We revel in a delicious revulsion, we shudder and cringe, but we read on, faster and faster. What does that say about us?

The book Swimsuit contains graphic descriptions of sex. And graphic descriptions of murder. At times it is rather crude. It is not for the prudish and the squeamish. While I was reading these scenes, I asked myself: What makes me, the reader, better that those people who are commissioning and watching the murder online?

Fortunately, there were no actual persons harmed in the writing of this book.

In this story, a new character is introduced to regular readers of Patterson’s books. The reluctant hero is Ben Hawkins, an ex-cop who became a mystery writer. After the disappointment of his last book, he became a crime reporter for the LA Times.

He is assigned to get the story of Kim McDaniels, a model who goes missing from a photo shoot in Hawaii. And it is not long before he becomes personally involved, and gets the story of a lifetime.

Last month I wrote a review for I, Alex Cross, also by James Patterson. And I wrote that I was disappointed with that book. This one delivers what we have come to expect from him. A thrilling story. A flawed hero, in over his head.  A twisted villain.

One of the things I missed so much in the previous book, was an insight in the mind of the murderer.

And in this book Patterson gives us a peek into the psychopathic mind of a cold killer. The contrast between the scenic settings, beautiful models and handsome murderer; and the graphic ugliness of the crimes, is jarring. All the crimes are performed for the camera, and the sense of being a voyeur is very disturbing.

It is not literature. It is a quick read, for a modern audience; one who is used to blood and thrills. And as such, it delivers.

Keen on reading this book? Click here to get your copy.

Fan of James Patterson? How do you think this novel compares in comparison to some of his previous works?

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