Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp - Book Review

             When Lou Diamond Phillips introduced the movie Under Siege with Steven Seagal, on the military channel, he said that this was the time to check your brain at the door before going into the theater. Yes, it’s a guy flick and there is a lot of action and it’s fun but at the end, it’s not believable. 
              This was my first time reading a co-authored book by James Patterson. Kill Me If You Can is along the same lines. The action is there and as Lou Diamond Phillips said, you’re checking your brain at the door before going in to see the movie. 
               In this case, Seagal is actually Matthew Bannon. Besides being an artist, he’s also an ex-marine so he can fight and he managed to get a hold of millions of dollars worth of diamonds that were stolen by the Russian Mob by a killer named Zelvas. Somehow, before Zelvas is killed, Bannon manages to get the diamonds and it seems that he’ll be able to get away with them. 
            He has a gorgeous girlfriend named Katherine and he plans to escape to Paris with her. Part of the subplot of this book is that Matthew has some secrets of his own and he may lose Katherine once she finds out what they are. 
            The real plot though is that the Russian mob is very angry that they lost their diamonds and they want them back. Chukov, one of the gangsters, is a victim here and he plans to hire two assassins to get them back. One is a killer name The Ghost and the other is a deadly assassin named Greta. 
              In reading this book, the action is fun and if you’re a fan of movies like the ones with Seagal, Stallone, and Van Damne, then you would probably like this book. Yes, it is a fun book to read with plenty of action and suspense. 
              With that said, what could go wrong with this book? Not much other than the fact that while bad guys like Chukov and Greta are dangerous and evil, they’re also shallow and stupid, which in a way is good and it did make me chuckle at times throughout the book. Of course, there were other characters like Nathaniel and Natalia but again, like the other characters in the book, they're just more idiots added to the story. 
           It seems that James Patterson and Marshall Karp were going for an action hero in Matthew Bannon but there were times in the book when things seemed too convenient. While the action was fun at times, the book was a quick read, but everything seemed too predictable which in some ways brought the suspense down for me. 
           If you’re someone like me who has read some great writers in this area - Barry Eisler, VInce Flynn, and Brad Thor - just to name a few, then the feeling I had was that Matthew Bannon doesn’t compare to characters like John Rain, Mitch Rapp, and Scott Harvath. If you have had the chance like I had to read those writers, then you would see that there is more suspense and action and their stories are never predictable. 
            I enjoyed reading Kill Me If You Can. There was a lot of suspense and action that made this book a fun read, it was also predictable. It’s the main reason I can only give this book four stars. In any case, I would still like to read more of the James Patterson co-authored books.

Ron Hummer

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