Mistress by James Patterson
Pros: the story had a few interesting points
Cons: horrid main character telling the story
Wow. Mistress is one odd book. I know it’s supposedly written by James Patterson (and co-authored by David Ellis) but honestly it didn’t read anything like the Patterson I know.
Told in first person by “Ben” we hear the most bizarre tale, through the wacked out thoughts of a very odd person. Whether Ben has a physical ailment, or a mental one, I’m not sure it’s ever clear. But Ben is definitely not “normal”. And as we are privy to his every thought, we get to find out just how wacky he is.
He tells us his story which revolves around his girlfriend-of-sorts. Not entirely sure exactly how close the two of them ever were. In any case, he’s just finished doing an errand for her when splat! … She goes flying off her balcony onto the sidewalk below. Was she pushed, or did she jump? The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide, but Ben doesn’t believe it. Thus he sets out on a one-man quest to find out the truth.
Unfortunately, the more he uncovers about this girl he thought he knew so well, the worse the storm gets. Bodies start piling up, it becomes clear that Ben’s very life is in danger, and the story careens out of control – with China, Russia, the CIA and the President of the United States all having a role.
Bottom line – Ben’s in the middle something much bigger than he ever could have imagined. And we readers get to live it all with him, by getting inside his wacked-out stream of consciousness as he tells us this story.
So – what’s the problem?
Well, Ben’s “different”, as I said. And while I applaud a book that dares to have characters who are “different”, in this case, it just got tiresome. Ben’s rambling thoughts, his never-ending tangents, his constantly telling us he really should have taken his meds today… It all gets on the nerves. I would say I out and out hated this character. Not enough to give up the book before finishing, but it was close. I get that Ben has issues. I don’t need to be slammed over the head with the evidence, on every single page.
All I can say is, the story held my interest enough to hang in there. Was it worth it, in the end? No, not really. Honestly, the ‘big reveal’ at the end was a yawner. Sadly, Mistress is a total miss.
Also by James Patterson: