Click Here To Purchase Run for Your Life

Author: James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 978-0-316-01874-6

Just hours after departing the site of a hostage situation gone badly, Manhattan detective Michael Bennett finds himself in pursuit of a killer who calls himself the Teacher.

The Teacher is a “homicidal maniac,” a “metrosexual sociopath” who fancies he bears more than a remote resemblance to actor Tom Cruise, so much resemblance, in fact, that he has tacked a poster of Tom Cruise in Top Gun on the wall of his Hell’s Kitchen hideaway.

Audaciously, and athletically—the Teacher can jog more than 30 blocks without becoming winded and deftly maneuver a bicycle through Manhattan’s traffic-clogged streets—the Teacher rampages in broad daylight and like some two-gun outlaw openly annihilates his victims in various high-end establishments, Ralph Lauren’s flagship store, for example.

The Teacher is a killer with a Mission Statement. His intention is to show Americans that “the penalty for obnoxious is now death.” Almost as if he were a corporate executive scoring through the completed steps of his agenda, immediately after a kill the Teacher whips out his Treo and deletes a name from his list of targets.

Complicating matters for Detective Bennett is a common flu that has infected the majority of his ten children. Fortunately, however, his mixed brood—Hispanic, black, Asian, white—all adopted before his wife’s death, is being cared for by his live-in housekeeper, Mary Catherine who, in turn, is assisted by Bennett’s grandfather-turned-priest, Father Seamus.

Unlike other thrillers, the mood of this novel is kept light by occasional touches of humor—kind of like comic relief in Shakespearean tragedy—especially associated with the manifestation of flu symptoms in the Bennett household. For instance, a whole section of Run For Your Life is titled “Puke By The Gallon.” And, at one point, Mary Catherine jumps back “as a small, yowling vomit-colored object streaked between her feet…Someone had just thrown up on Socky, the cat.”

Predictably, some events in the plot are just that—predictable. It comes as no surprise to readers that the Bennett children end up in harm’s way or that Bennett himself becomes locked in a life-and-death struggle with the Teacher in the environs of Manhattan.

This isn’t to say that this predictability is a fault. After all, part of the fun of a light thriller is that sometimes the reader can say, “Ah-ha, I knew this would happen.”

Ultimately, Run For Your Life is as enjoyable—perhaps even more so—than the previous novel [Step on a Crack] in this new Patterson/Ledwidge series. Let’s hope there will be more to come.

Click Here To Purchase Run for Your Life