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117 Days of James Patterson – Day Sixty-Five

Day 65, Chapter 65

Lindsay’s green Chevy Impala

The tension is ratcheted up today, as Lindsay is forced by the Lipstick Killer to pull over in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge.  First she puts her turn signal on, but fears that other drivers will just think she forgot to turn it off.  So she slows down in the right hand lane and puts on her hazard lights.  In a rare moment of descriptive prose, she listens “to their dull clicking” and imagines “a horrible rear-end crash that could kill the occupants of the oncoming car and crush (her) against the steering wheel.” She considers her odds of surviving her daredevil parking job: reduced from fifty-fifty to ninety-ten against.   The killer tells her to get the case with the cash in it out of the backseat, then to get out of the car.  But getting out on the driver’s side would be “pure suicide,” so she reaches for the passenger-side handle, pulls up on it, and kicks the door open. 

Are you excited yet?  Can you feel the tension building?  Somehow, when summarized like that, it all sounds so much stupider.

I was almost naked, yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get out of that car. I banged by shins with the case and negotiated the handrail, then my feet touched the walkway. Oncoming traffic was still swerving and honking. Someone yelled, “Jump. Jump,” and there were more horns.

Sorry, that was me yelling, “Jump. Jump.”

“Bridge security is tight,” I told the killer. “There will be cops here any minute.”

“Shut up,” he said. “Go to the rail.” 

I love her practical reasoning here, like the killer will suddenly realize that she’s right and abandon the whole project he’s working on.  And that he just tells her to “shut up.” 

Now, I’m not a thriller writer or an expert on these sort of situations, but in a scene where a killer has a humiliated, half-nude police detective standing at the rail of the Golden Gate Bridge with a gun case filled with $2 million in cash, do you think the end result is going to be the detective being ordered to jump off the bridge?  Or would it seem more practical for the killer to have the detective just drop the money down into the water where it can be retrieved?  Hey Lindsay, remember in Chapter 62 when you told us about the indestructibility of Pelican guncases?  And how watertight they are?  Like I said, I’m not an expert, but the endgame seems fairly obvious to me.  Not so much to naked Lindsay Boxer.

My head swam as I peered down into the glinting water. He was going to make me jump. Approximately thirteen hundred people had leaped to their deaths off this bridge. Only twenty-odd jumpers had survived. It had come down to the wire, literally and figuratively. I was going to die, and I would never even know if I’d saved anyone – or if the killer would take the money and keep on killing.

And how was he going to get the money anyway?

Are you kidding me, lady?  Listen to that panic, the complete submission.  What is Patterson’s deal?  Lindsay is so pathetic – she’s not even humiliated by her nakedness anymore, she’s too busy worrying that she’s going to have to jump off the bridge.  It’s just so goddamn stupid.  Why would he make you jump?  It would serve no practical purpose, especially after all the driving around and maneuvering he just made you do.  Idiot.

So of course, WCF has her drop the money and the cellphone down to a waiting motorboat.  Duh!  
Go to Day 66.


2 comments on “117 Days of James Patterson – Day Sixty-Five

  1. Amy
    July 5, 2010

    What? He didn't make her jump? Bad news for your continued reading.

  2. Nate
    July 14, 2010

    So James, I think you're forced to admit it to yourself: the naked tits didn't actually have anything to do with the narrative. I actually dared to imagine it might. Have I learned nothing? It wasn't a killer worried about wires or tracking devices or capture, just a quick authorial jolly before Patterson dashes off another “chapter.”

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2010 by in 117 Days of James Patterson.
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