Stepping out of Patterson's shadow
If you've read a lot of James Patterson books, you might recognise the name Peter De Jonge. As you may know, Patterson co-writes a lot of his books with a select bunch of other writers. Peter De Jonge, a former magazine writer from New York, is one of his co-writers, and they wrote 1996's Miracle on the 17th Green, 2002's The Beach House and 2006's Beach Road together.
As with other Patterson team members, De Jonge is now going it alone, and this is his first book.
When a young student mysteriously disappears from a New York bar, Detective Darlene O'Hara, from New York's 7th Precinct, takes on the case.
Francesca Pena came to New York to reinvent herself, earning a scholarship to NYU. After failing to return home after a night out with three of her closest friends, she's reported missing. A week later, a body is discovered and the Homicide Unit take over the case. O'Hara continues to work the case without official permission, and draws herself deeper and deeper into the complex web that was Francesca Pena...
Ok, so you know that De Jonge has worked with Patterson, so his writing is compatible, perhaps comparable (and I mean that in a good way if you've read any of my recent Patterson reviews!) The short chapter style is also in evidence here, although not as short as some of Patterson's 2 pages per chapter efforts.
This is a quite a good story and certainly a credible first solo effort. The pace is fast, there's some nice humour along the way, and O'Hara is a character who could go a long way. Whilst this is not the best police procedural I've read this year, it's certainly not a bad one, and I'll be looking out for the sequel!
Recommended for fans of Patterson, Connelly and Montanari.