Tag Archives: James Patterson

Nutshell

I have recently started watching The Zoo on TV. For those of you who don’t know, this is not as the name suggests, a nice family show about zoo keepers and their charges. Instead it’s a series based on the James Patterson novel of the same name where animals are essentially taking revenge on humans in the most gruesome ways they can find.

As someone who has often thought how I much prefer animals to people (although I wouldn’t want to be confronted by a grizzly bear in my kitchen especially if I’d just opened a bottle of wine) this is the kind of programme that gives me a slightly satisfied feeling, animals fighting back. It also rather terrifies me though as it may already be happening. I can’t look at a crow without thinking of the Hitchcock film the Birds which I thought was really scary. I don’t think it helped that for the first few times I watched it, back in the days of the good old video tape I never got to watch the end. Either the film was overrunning so it didn’t record all of it, or the video ran out before it had finished. I even once bought a copy from the local charity shop and the tape mangled before I could watch it all the way through (anyone under the age of 40 reading this will have absolutely no idea what all that is about!) That just made the film even creepier if you ask me, did they get away from the birds or not?

Living near a field I often take the nice route to work which involves walking through a herd of young cows.  I like the cows, yet as I walk through them carrying my leather bag I’m sure they are watching me. They can sense that I’m using their grandmother to carry my sandwiches to work (It’s ten years old and was made from recycled leather so it may actually be more like their great great grandmother) I’ve never actually seen them following me, but I know they are. Every time I turn around they stop and pretend to just be going about their business chewing grass but I think it’s all an act they are just trying to plan their next move.

Squirrels are another one to watch out for. I hate spiders and once heard that if you put conkers round the edges of rooms they give off some kind of odour that puts spiders off coming in. So I like to collect conkers for decorations. Yet there I am happily walking along, eyes on the ground, and suddenly get hit by said conkers. These didn’t just fall they were launched from the tree. Exactly at the spot where a nice little squirrel sat smugly grinning away, clearly warning me off of his nuts.

I think we should just be glad that we don’t live in a country where there are crocodiles and bears, and all we have to worry about are squirrels and cows. Just watch an episode of Zoo if you don’t believe me.

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1st to Die by James Patterson – a review

This book is the first of a series of novels about the womens murder club. It is written by James Patterson (probably best known for his Alex Cross novels)
1st to Die starts with Inspector Lindsay Boxer who is chasing the murderer of young couples on their wedding day. Lindsay’s best friend is medical examiner Claire and along the way she meets journalist Cindy, and lawyer Jill. They decide to join forces to fight crime, save the world and wear their underwear as outerwear (or something along those lines anyway)
The main suspect in the story is author Jenks who’s first novel was about a man who also killed newlyweds in the same gruesome fashion. He says he was set up, the murder club think otherwise.
This is definitely going to be a review of two parts. On the one hand I enjoyed this book. It was a fun quick read. The story itself, whilst not hugely original nowadays, had enough twists and turns to keep you hooked, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end (in a good way)
However on the other hand there were some bits that let it down, mainly how the women were portrayed. The main character Lindsay was a bit annoying, she spent a lot of time crying which I found a bit ridiculous. Anyone who knows me knows I can cry at anything, but I really don’t think that an established Inspector would walk into a crime scene and burst into tears, no matter what else she might be dealing with behind the scenes.
Equally the dialogue between the characters seemed a bit stilted, and unnatural. It would certainly take more than a chance meeting in the toilets for me to suddenly become best friends with someone. There also seemed to be no real explanation as to why they felt the need to club together in the first place and work outside the normal investigation.
I did think this was disappointing, as I’ve read some James Patterson before and always enjoyed them. I felt that this book was a bit rushed and almost as though it was an afterthought. Perhaps it was written purely to give an excuse for the characters getting together. Therefore despite my perceived flaws within 1st to Die I will give the second in this series a go and hopefully the womens murder club improves with age.

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