Swimsuit, by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

My copy: 9780446561358 (image from amazon.com)

It took me a bit of time to get into this one, because it felt abrupt and too fast at first…and then it just kept on going. I had a feeling I might like this one, but it’s way beyond my initial expectations. The setup and the pace was like “whaaaaaaa…TF?”

Swimsuit takes place in Hawaii to start with and goes way beyond what (and where) I expected it to. Kim McDaniels is a young model on a photo shoot who is abducted early on in the story, and the reasons why are what keep the story grounded. Her abductor is a mystery to her, but he’s a chameleon, very good at what he does with the unsuspecting. However, he’s a contract killer with a twist: he stages and films these murders (think that 2001 movie 15 Minutes with Robert DeNiro and Edward Burns) for a very specific audience.

The disappearance brings the woman’s family all the way to Hawaii after they receive a phone call indicating Kim’s “in bad hands.” It also brings Ben Hawkins in, an ex-cop turned mystery writer and reporter for the LA Times. Hawkins befriends the parents (a bit quickly in my opinion, I have to admit), and there’s some real questions as to whether the police are truly incompetent, or perhaps this is just a very complicated beginning.

And then, when the killer reaches out to Hawkins, wanting to tell his story, it gets so much more complicated, and the stakes even greater.

I’ve watched and been through most of James Patterson’s Masterclass by now (which is where I got the idea to pick this one up), and he admits that he doesn’t write realism, necessarily, but goes for writing page-turners.

Well, this one’s definitely one of them.

I started reading a couple of days ago, then things got in the way. Well, I re-started (I was only 20 pages in) around 11 last night and kept going til about 2:30 am. I kept putting it down to try and sleep, but then I just had to know what was going to happen and flipped on the light to read some more.

There are a few things I wasn’t sure about with this book, and I already mentioned the quick friendship of the McDaniels’ and Hawkins. Then it was the special audience of this psychopath, and I wanted to know more about them and how all this got started (though there are some explanations…I guess I just wanted a few more gaps filled, but I suppose that would’ve ruined things to get too into it).

Otherwise, wow–Swimsuit was a crazy ride, and I gotta admit some of the retribution/ justice meted out toward the end was satisfying to read. Some of these characters I loved to hate, and wanted to scream “why?!” in their faces.

Guess I’ll just re-read those parts with a smile on my face instead.

Happy reading!

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