Run for Your Life Review
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In 2007’s Step on a Crack, co-authors James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge introduced readers to a new hero: NYPD Detective Michael Bennett. By day, he’s a hero to the people of New York. But, by night, he’s a hero to the 10 young children whom he adopted with his late wife, Maeve.

Life as a single parent definitely isn’t easy—and he couldn’t do it without their nanny, Mary Catherine. Even his grandfather, Seamus, helps out in a pinch. And right now, Mike is definitely in a pinch.

Most of the Bennett children have suddenly come down with the flu. But just when Mike decides to take a day off to help Mary Catherine, he’s assigned to an urgent new case. An audacious killer who calls himself The Teacher is gunning down victims in broad daylight. He’s carefully planned every last detail of his mission—right down to his checklist of victims.

With a killer on the loose and a house full of sick kids, Mike has his hands full. But he’s got to muster all of the strength he has left to follow the patterns and stop The Teacher before anyone else is killed.

In their second Michael Bennett novel, Patterson and Ledwidge have crafted a suspenseful battle of wits between a calm and calculating killer and a determined but worn-out cop.

From the beginning, readers are allowed to get to know the killer. You’ll walk along with him as he tracks down his victims. You’ll get inside his head as he carefully plans his next steps. You’ll even get to know a bit about him and his past. But you won’t know who he is until the end. For that, you’ll follow along with Bennett and his team as they try to fit the clues together—racing to figure out who the killer is, why he’s doing what he’s doing, and where he’ll strike next. The pieces come together gradually as the action speeds on. And though some of the pieces don’t fit together perfectly in the end, it’s still one thrilling ride.

The story is gripping, and the mystery is pleasantly puzzling. But the one thing that truly sets Run for Your Life apart from other crime thrillers is its compelling main character. Mike Bennett isn’t just another tough, no-nonsense cop who always gets his man. He isn’t a superhero with super-human powers. He’s a real guy with a real life—and real problems—outside his job. He’s still mourning his wife’s death, and he’s trying to raise his 10 kids without her—and that gives the story plenty of heart and a healthy dose of humor. As Mike struggles to control his emotions and capture the killer on just a few hours of sleep, you’ll be able to relate—and you’ll love him all the more.

Combine Run for Your Life’s white-knuckle suspense with its endearingly imperfect hero, and you’ve got a stand-out crime thriller that no Patterson fan or adrenaline junkie should miss.

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