Judge & Jury Review
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I have a tendency to be a little late in jumping on the bandwagon. It often takes me a while to stumble upon a great author that everyone else has read and loved for years. Janet Evanovich was into her seventh Stephanie Plum novel before I picked one up. Sue Grafton was up to Q in her Kinsey Milhone series before I read A. And, well, James Patterson has been on the best-seller lists for ages, and though I’ve had a couple sitting on my bookshelf unread for years, this is the first time I’ve read one of his books. Finally, I figured it was time to see what the fuss is all about.

Patterson’s latest (written with Andrew Gross) begins with the capture of notorious Mob boss Dominic “The Electrician” Cavello. Cavello isn’t just a businessman who occasionally resorts to violence. He’s a ruthless, cold-hearted killer. And finally, after years of hunting him, FBI agent Nick Pellisante has brought Cavello in—and there’s more than enough evidence to put the monster behind bars for good.

But Cavello isn’t about to sit through the trial and accept his sentence. So he brings in Richard Nordeshenko, a masterful killer-for-hire, to make sure that the jury never reaches its verdict. When Nordeshenko gets the job done, he disappears without a trace, leaving destruction and tragedy in his wake.

Andie DeGrasse’s life is forever changed by the trial—and, like Nick, she wants nothing more than to make sure that Cavello gets what he deserves. Though Andie’s just an actress and Nick has been removed from the case for getting a little too attached, the two join together to go out on their own and try to bring about justice.

It didn’t take long at all for Patterson to win me over. From the first chapter, Judge & Jury is a spellbinding read. Even as the characters are introduced—when the action slows down for a while—there’s still a strong, suspenseful build-up. I knew something was going to happen—and I couldn’t wait to see what it was. And when it finally did happen, I wasn’t disappointed. The payoff is definitely worthy of the build-up.

The authors manage to make readers care about the characters without bogging down the action too much with background information. For instance, they don’t specifically say why Nick has become so obsessed with putting Cavello away for good. But after following him around for a while—and reading more about Cavello—you’ll just understand.

While it’s not without its flaws, Judge & Jury is a book that you’ll devour in a few days’ time—then you’ll recommend it to all of your friends. If you’re already a Patterson fan, I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I did. And if you, too, somehow managed to avoid him for this long, now’s a great time to see what you’ve been missing. Pick up a copy—and join me on the bandwagon.

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