|Step on a Crack
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Detective Michael Bennett is about to take on the most sinister challenge of his career. The nation has fallen into mourning after the unexpected death of a beloved former first lady, and the most powerful people in the world gather in New York for her funeral. Then the inconceivable occurs. Billionaires, politicians, and superstars of every kind are suddenly trapped within one man's brilliant and ruthless scenario. Bennett--father of ten--is pulled into the fray. As the danger escalates, Michael is hit with devastating news. After fighting for many years, his wife has succumbed to a terrible disease. As New York descends into chaos, he has lost the great love of his life and faces raising his ten devastated children alone--and rescuing 34 hostages. Day after day, Bennett confronts the most ruthless man he has ever dealt with, a man who kills without hesitation and counters everything the NYPD and FBI throw at him with impunity. As the entire world watches and the tension boils to a searing heat, Bennett has to find a way out--or face responsibility for the greatest debacle in history.
- Enjoy the ride
When reading a James Patterson book, it's best to suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride. In this book his hero is Detective Michael Bennnett who has a terminally ill wife, ten adopted children, a dead former first lady and a giant kidnapping scheme all to handle at the same time. All in a day's work! As in all Patterson books, the chapters are short, the pages turn quickly and soon the reader is immersed in an intriguing, if unlikely, story. Michael Bennett and his family are loving and loveable and provide good relief from the evil doings of the bad guys in the story. The motives of the perpetrators are rather thin, but the plot is elaborate and interesting as it unfolds. So suspend disbelief and enjoy!...more info
- Grabbing, thrilling and realistic makes this an amazing book
Step on a Crack, by James Patterson is in my opinion one of the fastest reads out there. It is a fiction novel that takes advantage of the current times and national security issues. Michael Bennett, a New York City detective, is the main character who deals with several stressful situations. James Patterson takes us through a whirlwind experience by following Bennett's life and what he has to deal with in a short period of time. After the death of the nation's beloved first lady, the country is thrown into a state of mourning. Her highly-publicized funeral is held in New York's famous Saint Patrick's cathedral where an enormous group of high ranking officials, billionaires, celebrities, and politicians all congregated to say their final farewells. Little did they know that one of the most diabolical hostage situations would take place with them as the targets. Instantly, the media coverage meant to publicize the funeral turned into coverage for the hostage situation. The whole incident was for only one incentive; money, what else? Bennett is thrown into the mix as the acting detective for the state of hysteria. Not only does Bennett have to deal with the stress of solving the problem at the funeral but he also has to think about his ten adopted kids at home without a mom. His wife died to the disease she had been fighting for years.
"I'LL TELL YOU THIS--even on the so-called mean streets of New York, where the only thing harder to get than a taxi in the rain is attention; we were managing to turn heads that grim, gray December afternoon."
Step on a Crack is a very unique book in that it strikes a perfect balance between a character's personal and professional life. Most books will unveil the character's personality, past life, and private life all at once in the beginning of the book making the first hundred pages terribly dry. Step on a Crack is different in that it reveals Bennett's personal life and the hostage situation simultaneously. The book is written in small two to five page chapters allowing James Patterson to seamlessly switch between the growing problem of hostages and Bennett's stressful life at home, all the while following the events that happen inside the cathedral in detail. It seems as if there are barely any dry pages in the book leaving you to never want to put it down. The action is constant and is more thrilling with each turn of the page. Patterson makes you believe that he really knows what he's talking about throughout the book because he uses the police and FBI language. It makes you feel like you're right in the middle of the action with everything unfolding right in front of your eyes. ...more info
- Wholesome ingredients ...
This book has everything we look for in popular fiction ... good story, compelling characters, believable action, and a sincere appeal to the emotions. Patterson turns what could be yet another story set in New York City into a special New York City story....more info
- What Has Happened to James Patterson???
Ever since James Patterson has teamed up with co-authors, his books have been on a down-slide. This book is just plain boring - entirely too many characters. What does ten kids, a dying wife, a nanny, and an Irish priest/grandfather have to do with the plot?? I waded through this book, and am reticent to read any more of Patterson's books. The last few have been disappointing. He is no longer a best seller....more info
- ST. PATS IS UNDER SIEGE AGAIN
Step on a Crack has all the requisite ingredients for a suspense/thriller. We have NYPD Detective Michael Bennett a quick thinking, analytical and in this instance somewhat sympathetic hero, we have the ominous "neat man" an obsessive/compulsive who is the brains behind the ransom plan and whose true identity is somewhat surprising, we have the usual number of unlikable characters (some of them celebrity hostages that you would not be sorry to see killed off), and then we have the peripheral story of the heroes' stalwart spouse who is dying of cancer and their ten (yes I said ten) kids that adds yet another piece to our hero's already overflowing plate. Oh, did I mention that the kids are PERFECT. Not a whiner in the bunch......probably because of their perfect au pair......an angel named Mary Catherine who can cook, clean and anticipate your every need with one arm tied behind her back. This is a book of extremes with very little middle ground. The bad are verrrry bad and the good are almost saintly.
Let me just say that the takeover of New Yorks' St. Patricks Cathedral and holding of hostages for ransom is not a new premise. Nelson DeMille did it several years ago with his novel "Cathedral". This Patterson/Ledwidge rework of DeMilles scenerio is adequate enough to hold the readers attention but DeMille's is by far the superior work.
- A Great Read
I really enjoyed this book. I kind of like the short chapters - because I do quite a lot of my reading during my lunch hour and can easily finish a chapter and not be late back to my desk. I liked that he had 10 children and that he was a devoted family man. I found the mystery griping enough to keep me guessing. I'll read others if he makes this a series. But I must say the Cross books are the best with the Womern's Murder Club coming in second....more info
- Fantastic Thrilling New Novel
Patterson at his best! A new character for us to love, admire, and sympathy for. Some people found the having ten kids not so believable, but I was fine with that. The story was told, and unfolds with intense actions and twist famously embetted in most of Patterson's work. However, his stories always wind up surprising me. I look forward to more stories with this character. It was also heartbreaking to read this tale of a cop trying to solve a near impossible crime, while his wife was dying of cancer. Truly realistic, and fantastic....more info
- Group takes over St. Patrick's Cathedral to hold hostages
A new cop is introduced in this book, Senior Detective Michael Bennett, Homicide Department of the NYPD. Bennett and his dying wife, Maeve, had ten children all of which were adopted from various areas of the world, had had a fantastic life together as a family. Maeve had untreatable cancer and it hurt Bennett so deep watching his Maeve slowly slip away from life.
Michael was called into a case after the wife of the ex-president of the United States had a horrible attack while eating in their favorite restaurant that ended in death. It was discovered that she had been allergic to peanuts and somehow, a peanut product was placed in her food. At first thought an accident, there were too many things pointing otherwise. Bennett spread his time between the hospital visiting his wife, keeping tabs on all the children, and working this case connected with the death of the President's wife.
During the funeral service for the President's wife in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, a group of strange ski-masked men appeared in the cathedral, loaded with guns and weapons of many types and taking over the inside of St. Patrick's. They sealed all the doors and turned the funeral service into a shambles. Eventually most were released but all the famous people that had come to bid farewell to the President's wife were kept under guns and ski-masked eyes.
All the NYPD and other resources were on the scene quickly. Eventually Bennett was placed in charge of negotiations, a job he did not want since for years he had not been involved with any negotiation, but he was the only one that those inside the cathedral would deal with. Negotiations went on and on with several attempts by the authorities were made to find ways into the cathedral without success. Other negotiators joined Bennett but the head gunman, Jack, would still only deal with Bennett. During the breaks when things calmed down for a while he would leave and visit his wife in the hospital and his children at home. Maeve's mother had hired an au pair named Mary Catherine who took over the children much to Bennett's distress, but eventually calmness, with the way she handled the children and the home, let Bennett accept her.
During the negotiations several of the famous were killed and sent out through the front door of the cathedral so the authorities would know this was serious and they meant what they said. They wanted money from all these people and many millions was to be transferred to a special account. While all of this was proceeding, or in some ways going backwards, the authorities worked on the transfer of money with the cooperation of the victims families. The very ugly situation became uglier since this all occurred around Christmas time and the slowness of money transfer did not make the killers happy so they continued to kill a few more.
Step On A Crack is a very fast moving story that is well told by the authors. Patterson and his co-writers usually come up with a great story. This one is one of the best. I know I have said that before but once in a while a book stands out and this one did to me. Keep them coming and keep Michael Bennett in your plots. He and his family is a great asset to any story.
- Step On A Crack
I will grit my teeth and give this novel a 2 star based on the rules of reviewing. However, the story is unbelievable and not too compelling.
Patterson introduces his new detective, Michael Bennett with 10 children. Ouch. Plus, his wife is sick and dying of cancer and this is the most "moving" part of the book. The story seems real here and is touching.
I was disappointed because I saw the ending before it was revealed, one of my pet peeves. Placing my opinion to the side, you have a funeral for the former First Lady. This is part of a terrorist plot. The terrorists uses the death of the former First Lady to carry out their plot to extort lots of money from the rich. They hold the richer celebs hostage, releasing the somewhat less richer celebs.
It's obvious that the terroists will make a perfect escape, leaving you nowhere to turn to wonder. Michael Bennett sure does take a lot of breaks while a serious hostage situation is taking place, but...he does have to go see his wife. It's unbelievable that he would be able to leave the crime scene at the particular times that he does though.
Patterson introduces the "Neat Man." I am shocked to think that this is the only name he can come up with, but, this is what the man is revealed as. It's obvious that the "Neat Man" is a cop and helping and the terrorists, but poor Michael Bennett has not figured this out yet.
After a long, drawn out process, the terrorists do in fact escape. This leads to a chase and in the end, guess what? Michael Bennett gets the man and the "Neat Man." This is very predictable in Patterson's novels and I would like to see for once - that maybe some of the bad guys could get away. Leaving more room for more series and plus, leaving the reader shocked a little. ...more info
- Spoon up the predictable schlop
It was a page turner because I couldn't wait to see the next trite, overwrought uninspired literary device he would use. I mean come on, the bad guys are totally bad, the good guys are all saints, the mom dying of cancer it goes on and on. It's a shame this is available on any shelf and lesser known authors who have some craft are ignored....more info
- Kind of confusing and over-dramatic at times
This was the first time reading a James Patterson book for me. It was alright but at times there was too much drama and confusion. I didn't like how a whole scene was just skipped with the hostages were released and the bad guys got away. Still don't know exactly what happened but it could turn into an action and suspense movie....more info
- not bad, gets better as you read....
Patterson was a great author, but with all his books, I think the quality continues to go down. Sure, they are fun, fast reads, but the sign of a great book is one that you will remember, this one, probably will not be one I remember too long....Don't get me wrong, this was a fun and fast read, but just not great.......more info
- Help me!
This was my first patterson book; I assumed I would like it because I like the genre. But this is arguably the worst book I've ever read. Interesting premise to start with but goes absolutely nowhere. The pop culture references in the book lend it an air of complete literary irrelevance.
Should I give Patterson another try or is this pretty much it?...more info
- Unable to suspend disbelief
This read like a late book review completed to avoid an "Incomplete" in a compulsory English class; there must have been a deadline from the publisher to keep the advance. I found the Women's Murder Club mysteries entertaining, but this was popular writing for hire -- a reputation for sale to an aspiring co-writer. The plot reminded me of the incredibly weak "Armageddon" movie from 1998 with Bruce Willis, because I was also unable to suspend disbelief for that project; throughout the book, I reacted with "Come On!" Maybe it's time for me to give up on Patterson....more info
- Step on a Crack
One of the best Patterson books I have read. Could not put it down, keep you wanting to read more. I am looking forward to more books based on the new character....more info
- Good Book
James Patterson has given us a new cop and I hope he has more on him in the future. Great easy read....more info
- So bad!
As good as Patterson's early books were, this is the worst. I read at least a mystery a week. There are no redeeming qualities to this book. The characterizations are grade school level, the side remarks of the characters are so pathetic. I don't begrudge him selling out his rep by using unknown authors.......in fact good for them. But this is drivel. How unfortunate for persons who are drawn to him by his "Best Seller" history....more info
I picked this book from the bookshelf of an apartment we were renting in Europe because it was the only one in English and I was out of reading material.
What dreck! People actually read this kind of stuff and consider it to be good writing? Short chapters and very simplistic writing - perhaps sixth-grade level.
In my future travels, I will throw an extra book or two into my luggage so I am never this desperate again......more info
- Crime of the Century
Michael Bennett just does not ring true. This book is not up to Pattersons usual writing.This book is not a winner for Patterson.The plot is not believeable....more info
- From J. Kaye's Book Blog
For STEP ON A CRACK, I opted for the audio book. I feel some stories are more exciting when read out loud and James Patterson's books rank as a favorite in audio. It doesn't seem to matter who he teams up with, I love them all.
STEP ON A CRACK started out slow and I'm not sure why. Usually when this happens, it's a mood thing. At the beginning, I wasn't connecting with the story or characters. If the book hadn't been so short, I might have put it away and returned later. I'm glad that didn't happen. Michael Bennett is an endearing character and his story a sad one.
It begins with the death of the First Lady. At her funeral, attendees were held hostage and NYPD detective Michael Bennett becomes the hostage negotiator. At the same time, his wife is in the hospital dying of cancer and he has ten adopted children depending on him. It all seems a bit much to swallow. As master storytellers, Patterson & Ledwidge had me believing it could really happen.
The one thing to blow me out of the water was I found myself liking the lead kidnapper in some parts of the story. How freaky is that? So much energy is not only placed on the main characters, but the adversary as well. The entire story played on my emotions. I have a feeling this will be another addictive series.
My only problem with the book came in chapter ninety-five when Charlie Conlan was hog-tied in the front passenger seat of the lead car. (This is where the kidnappers and hostages were all dressed in brown robes and each wearing a ski mask. As they got into the black sedans, there was no way the police couldn't tell the hostages from the bad guys.) Charlie, believing he was going to die anyway, decides to make a move with the caravan was in motion. He leans over and bites down on the hijacker/driver's ear. That in itself is too hard to believe. Wouldn't the hijacker see Charlie coming? It's soon discovered after the crash, the hijackers were wearing two masks. The second mask was a skin-diving mask. That would be like biting a rubber ball. This is totally impossible.
Even with this small blunder, the book was well worth the time. I look forward to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. I want to know what's in store for Michael Bennett....more info
- Great Reading
I finally have time to read! After reading "Cross" while on vacation I was hooked on James patterson. I bought this book and couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to turn the page and see what was going to happen next. Now, I need to get another Patterson book. I highly recommend "Step on a Crack"....more info
- Two unrelated stories masquerading as a thriller
OK, let me get this straight. Mike Bennett and his wife Maeve have adopted 10 kids because they could not have any of their own. Now, Maeve is dying rapidly of cancer and Mike is barely able to keep the household going. In comes his grandfather - Seamus the priest (???!!!) - and an Au Pair named Mary Catherine. Both of them take over as Mike attends to his dying wife. She dies on Christmas day in Mike's arms and Mike has to attend to funeral details etc.
While this is going on, we also find out that Mike's 'day' job is as an NYPD homicide detective. Of course, he is also a former hostage negotiator so when a group of armed men take over a state funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral and demand large amounts of ransom, Mike is the man who steps in to become the lead negotiator. Of course, that makes perfect sense, especially since there are two additional negotiators involved - although at least one of them is considered the senior and he is dismissed immediately.
So, now we see the two parallel stories. Besides Mike Bennett is there any connection between the two? nope.
The thriller part was completely action-filled and predictable. Of course the kidnappers are always a step ahead of the police at every plot twist and turn. The cathedral is impenetrable as the FBI finds out when they attempt to enter via a secret entrance and run straight into a trap. Every move that the police make is foreseen by the bad guys and they always have a prepared answer for it. I was particularly 'impressed' when the FBI tries to find out who is a hostage and who a kidnapper by using thermal imaging for weaponry - and, of course, each of the people scanned has a weapon! Of course! The hostages would NEVER use the weapons they were given to try and escape after all! Even if there are 33 hostages and less than ten kidnappers!
As you can see, this story is completely silly. The characters were very poorly developed and completely stereotypical: we have the black TV show hostess (say Oprah) who has made good and observes on how she tried losing the ghetto speak all of her life, while the pop-starlett who was born in a lilly-white environment speaks like a ghetto-born person after she makes multiple millions as a rap star. There is the aging domestic diva (Martha Stewart) who is hooked on oxycontin but realizes while captive that she has mislead the world, there is the Al Sharpton kind of captive who always blame the police and the white world for the scrapes he gets in - but this time he's proven right. etc.
So, when you put together two completely unrelated stories; do not develop characters beyond their introduction; populate the story with unbelievable plot twists; and then bring it all to a quick resolution while tying all the knots together; what do you have? A sorry excuse for a novel.