The Book Catapult

117 Days of James Patterson – Day 114

Day 114, Chapter 114 – “Epilogue: 911”

Yesterday, Forbes announced their list of the highest-paid authors in the world – guess who made it to number one?  He earned $70 million in the last year – $30 million more than Stephenie Meyer, his closest competitor.  Part of this, if you recall, is due to his recent contract with his publisher, Hachette, worth somewhere between $100-150 million for 17 books to be written by 2012.  (I don’t think the sales of the Women’s Murder Club video game made much of a dent in his income.)  The Forbes list is kind of fascinating, actually: #3 is Stephen King ($34 million), #4 Danielle Steel ($32 million), #5 is a relative shocker – Ken Follett ($20 million), #6 Dean Koontz ($18 million), #7 Janet Evanovich ($16 million), #8 John Grisham ($15 million), #9 Nicholas Sparks, who will be at Warwick’s on September 22 much to my glee ($14 million), and #10 J.K. Rowling ($10 million).  I think with the exception of Follett and Rowling, any one of these authors could be the subject of another 117 days.  If I really hated my life, of course.

So, now to the epilogue!  I’m not really feeling any sort of sense of resolution from the rest of the book, you know?  Maybe it’s because of the way I read the thing – too methodically, perhaps – but if I look back to the way things were being laid out in the early chapters, I feel that the structure completely fell apart.  Remember early on, when Yuki and Claire (and to a small degree, Cindy) played a part in the formulation of the storyline?  They met in the bar, discussed the case, Yuki had a personal connection to the Dowlings, Claire was trying to sort out the murder scenes – what happened to all of that?  It just fizzled away, just like my entire summer, leaving us with a have-assed epilogue and 10 pages to go.

It was September 25, and Joe and I were having friends over to toast one another and the good days ahead.

A ham was in the oven, baking under a peppery mango glaze. Martha was begging for a taste and got a Milk-Bone instead. I was wearing a kimono and an avocado mask as I peeled the potatoes and Joe sliced apples for the cobbler.

I don’t know how much time has passed since the events of Chapter 113 – presumably not much, since it’s still September and Lindsay was at a 49ers game in Chapter 99 – but she’s still frazzled from her life as a vulnerable lady-cop.  Joe’s cell phone rings and she doesn’t want him to answer it, but he does anyway.

I hadn’t had a call in weeks that hadn’t sent me down a tunnel of horror, and frankly I was so strung out from my job, I couldn’t take even a lightbulb burning out. Or a broken fingernail. Or even a dip in the temperature. I just couldn’t take it anymore. 

How about a flat tire?  Or a papercut?  Or when Martha shits in the living room?  Or when Joe leaves the toilet seat up and you sit down on that cold porcelain at three in the morning?

Joe comes back after his phone call, “gray-faced and grim” like Jacobi.  I think this epilogue’s about to get blowed up, y’all.

“There’s a plane full of people on the tarmac at Dulles International,” he said. “There’s a guy on board, used to be an informant of mine years back. He smuggled C-four in with his hand luggage. He’s threatening to blow up the plane.”

“I got to get into this dude’s pelt and crawl around for a few days.”

I wonder if this hijacker remembered to bring his blasting caps?  How did he sneak his C-4 (not to mention, a couple of blasting caps) past the TSA?  In his underwear?  Or maybe he fashioned the C-4 into tiny animals like Carl in Caddyshack.

“So you need to call the guy,” I said. “Talk him down.”

“I have to fly to Washington,” Joe said, walking to me, enfolding me in his arms. “A car’s picking me up. I have to go right now.”

It felt like my heart stopped in its tracks.

It was stupid, but I just wanted to bawl in Joe’s arms and tell him he couldn’t go, and if he did, I’d keep crying until he came back.

“Do what you have to do,” I said.

Only JPatt could weave the plot of an entirely new novel into the 10-page epilogue of another.  Hang on, everybody, this shit’s not over yet!
Go to Day 115

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4 comments on “117 Days of James Patterson – Day 114

  1. Naomi Johnson
    August 21, 2010

    I see you staggering toward the finish line like a marathoner. I hope there will be medical aid nearby.

  2. Amy
    August 21, 2010

    You're almost there at least!

  3. Tracy
    August 21, 2010

    not nicholas sparks again!

  4. Nate
    August 24, 2010

    This is my all-time favorite Nicholas Sparks line: “She was short of breath as she reached for the snap on his jeans. Meeting his eyes again, she unsnapped them, then slowly slid the zipper down.” (From “Message in a Bottle”)

    Though I find the idea of unsnapping eyes morbidly interesting, I would hope that being able to properly structure a sentence would be on the list of prerequisite skills for someone earning millions from his novels.

    No, I didn't read the book; I got the quote from a one-star review of it on Amazon. Yes, I go read Sparks's and JPatt's and others one-star reviews; I'm sick that way. I also do it to renew my hope in the human race, as well as instill a sense of hope in myself that some of my own work might sell someday (after all, if they get published, why shouldn't I?) 🙂

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2010 by in 117 Days of James Patterson.
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