KILL ME IF YOU CAN – James Patterson, Marshall Karp

     I love mysteries and thrillers though many of my choices run towards the “cozy” type – cats in bookstores, bakery shop owners who solve crimes, etc. But now and then I read the “hard stuff”, and recently chose the new trade paperback edition of Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp.

First – I’ve read a couple of Patterson books in the past and enjoyed them, but am new to the concept of him co-authoring books, so it was a surprise to come across this joint venture, especially since I’d never heard of Karp, who has apparently written and produced films and television programs and is author of his own books as well.

Second – as is typical with the other Patterson books, cozy this is not!  But it’s a great read, in my opinion.  In fact, I read it with a new speed I didn’t even know I had. 

Kill Me If You Can features Matthew Bannon, a struggling art student in New York City.  He is caught up in what appears to be a terrorist attack at Grand Central Station, and while the attack is still underway, he finds a dying man at some lockers, along with the duffel bag the man was apparently trying to reach.  Inside are millions of dollars of diamonds, which Mattehw takes.  His logic is: why not?  What else would he do?  Ask for an announcement to be made that the person who lost a duffel bag full of diamonds should please contact Security?

Matthew is in a relationship with Katherine, his art professor, but before he can share his news with her, he realizes he is now a hunted man, since someone has seen him.

What follows is a fast-paced story involving a character named The Ghost, and also Walter Zelvas, a top member of the Diamond Syndicate.  It involves rival assassins and more or less a “kill or be killed” chase that is fascinating.

There is also an incestuous relationship that seems unnecessary and a bit graphic, but Patterson, at least in the books I’ve read, is not one to spare things that are a bit uncomfortable to read.  This applies to the blood and gore that is spread around during the search for the diamonds, too.

There are a couple of plot twists – one in particular – that I defy anyone to say they saw coming.  It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve actually talked to a book — actually saying, “Oh wow!” and “What???” a couple of times.  I like that.

The book, published by Grand Central Publishing, was fun and exciting and I was sorry to have it end. I’m not sure what die-hard Patterson fans would have to say about it, but from

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