By James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Read by David Patrick Kelly Hachette Audio, (2010)
An Unabridged Recording on 6 CDs
Also available in Large Print.
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - November 22, 2010
This is the third novel that James Patterson wrote with Howard Roughan. The first two were Honeymoon and Sail. This one has a good plot and lots of action, but some readers might be turned off by some wise cracks that the hero makes.
Nick Daniels, a magazine reporter, is the novel's hero. We are introduced to him when he makes a speedy retreat from Sudan and a hail of bullets by natives who dislike American interference, whether medical care or reporting. We are told that this is not his only near death experience. He had typhous when he visited other countries for interviews.
His editor, who he is in love with and with whom he had sex, is engaged to a billionaire who owns the magazine, tells him to rush back to the US to interview one of baseball's anti-heroes, a phenomenal pitcher who failed to appear for the seventh game of the World Series, and who was found drugged lying on the floor of his apartment. He claimed that two men grabbed and drugged him to prevent him from pitching, for if he pitched he would have assured that his team would win. No one believed him because it was well-known that the man had a drug problem and was afraid of crowds, and probably drugged himself willingly. Now he wanted to speak to Nick. He said it was a revelation. Why Nick? What did he want to say?
Nick goes to the appointment, but the pitcher does not appear. Another appointment is made. The pitcher arrives and Nick puts his recorder on the table and starts it rolling. Just then, an Italian mobster comes into the restaurant and gauges out the eyes of a lawyer, killing him. The lawyer had bungled the case of a top gangster, the Prince. Two off-duty police with drawn guns try to stop him, but the mobster, who is walking out of the restaurant with no weapons in hand, draws two guns from his pocket and shoots the two in their heads.
The DA, who is dating and sleeping with Nick's old girl friend, tells Nick that the wants to prove that the Prince arranged the murder. Nick remembers that he has the recording. He listens to it and hears the killer say that he is killing the lawyer for the Prince. Nick hands to recording to the police, but is afraid that the Prince will kill him, as he had the lawyer killed.
The pitcher calls Nick and arranges another meeting. He does not show up. Nick hears over ESPN that he fell out of his window to his death.
Why is the DA so interested in pinning the crime on the head gangster? Why was the killer so stupid as to mention the Prince's name? Why did the lawyer bungle his defense of the Prince? Will Nick get involved in the investigation? Why? Will the gangsters come after him? Will he be able to take his editor away from her fiancée, the billionaire? What is the secret that the pitcher wanted to tell Nick? Is it in any way related to the murder in the restaurant? Why didn't he appear for his first appointment? Was his death a suicide or was it murder? Why?
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of sixteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes Wagner and Drazin's latest book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah.