Being a cynic and kind of a jerk, I have decided to undertake this massive, mind-numbing, sarcasm-laced project in a determined & honest attempt to understand the irresistible magnetic charge that James Patterson projects upon his faithful readership. The entirety of this project will entail my reading and reviewing exactly one chapter – never skipping ahead, no matter how badly I want to – from Patterson’s new book, The 9th Judgment, (part of the “Women’s Murder Club” series, co-written with Maxine Paetro. I mean, he doesn’t even write these things by himself, people!) every day until I reach the highly anticipated, life-changing, explosive, enthralling conclusion. Being that there are 117 chapters in this 355 page novel, this project will be dubbed, 117 Days of James Patterson. Why am I doing this? Because (according to jamespatterson.com) one of every 15 books sold in the US in 2007 was a Patterson title. Because he recently signed a 17 book, 3 year publishing deal with Hachette. Because he will have 3 more books released before the end of August. Because he owns a hat that says “Relax”. I will not relax, Jim! Taste my fury!
The first “chapter” is actually part of a three-chapter, 9-page prologue – Patterson is already behind the Seth Marko Eight-Ball here, as I truly despise the unnecessary use of the prologue in fiction – where we find Sarah Wells trying to break into the home of Casey & Marcus Dowling. As she’s making an attempt at pilfering their jewelry cabinet, someone walks into the adjoining room and she hides, “a thief in the night”. Some choice pieces: