James Patterson & Howard Roughan
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
, James Patterson and Howard Roughan have co-authored a thriller with shades of
. Nora Sinclair, '
one of the very best decorators in New York
', is revealed as a beautiful '
' early on in the story, a woman who believes that '
One's real life is almost always the life one doesn't lead.
' She shuttles between men who all believe she loves them alone and that they have found the perfect relationship and the ideal woman. They're perfectly happy ... while they're alive. Why does Nora do what she does? We read on, in search of answers, and hoping for redeeming qualities or clear motivations.
wo mysteries unfold. In the subplot, '
' saves a hostage and
with a suitcase full of data on offshore accounts worth over a billion dollars. The main storyline follows FBI agent John O'Hara who's undercover as insurance man Craig Reynolds. In this role, the G-man follows Nora as part of the job, and she tails him through habitual distrust, resulting in some suspenseful chases. We see Nora visit her mother Olivia, jailed for life for her husband's murder and now lost in a kind of
at the Pine Woods Psychiatric Facility. O'Hara gets a little too close to the attractive, dangerous Nora for his or the reader's comfort. His obsession crosses professional boundaries. And though he seems special to her, will she change her deadly habits for him?
he authors toss in several suprising twists and turns before the thriller comes to a satisfying conclusion. But though I enjoyed it, as I always enjoy any book with James Patterson's name on it, I felt that the story did not live up to its potential. It raised many questions about Nora, which were not answered, and the plot flow (and connection between the subplots) was not always smooth. Still,
will make an exciting movie, and I'll never look at an omelet in quite the same way again.
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