The Midnight Club
by James Patterson
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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There's a psychopathic killer on the loose and he's more dangerous than anything you've ever seen. His name is Alexander St.-Germain. On the outside, he appears to be a legitimate businessman, successful in several markets around the world. What you don't know is that he's also a member of the most organized crime association in the world.

The group is called The Midnight Club. Its membership represents the major cities of the world. Its influence and power make the American mob look insignificant.

As part of his business holdings, Alexander St.-Germain controls a great deal of the drug traffic between North America, South America and Europe. He hasn't been caught yet because he practices and unspeakable form of street law. You see, anyone who crosses St.-Germain or interrupts business is dealt with ruthlessly. Torture followed by death is not uncommon, and nobody is exempt, including law enforcement, judges and even acquaintances.

An example and victim of this street law is N.Y.P.D. detective John Stefanovitch. He was close to bringing the empire down. St.-Germain was onto him and let the police walk right into an ambush. Stefanovich was shot point blank in the back by St.-Germain. Street law.

Two years later, Stefanovich is back and wanting revenge. He's not the only one. It seems there is a group of N.Y.P.D. officers executing their own version of street law. They are killing despicable crooks and major drug pushers. They also happen to have an interest in killing members of The Midnight Club.

On top of all that, there's a well-known female author doing research for her next true-crime book. The subject this time around is the new order of organized crime. Sarah McGinniss finds herself becoming attracted to Stefanovitch during the research process.

However, a lot of questions need to be resolved here. Just exactly what is The Midnight Club? Who belongs to it? Is Alexander St.-Germain working on his own, or are these hits ordered by The Club?

Stefanovitch was caught once by St.-Germain. He lost his legs and his wife the first time around. This time he's got nothing left to lose. Or does he? Can a wheelchair-bound detective bring down the most ruthless man in the world?

James Patterson never ceases to amaze me. I have read hundreds of books. Many plot lines tend to sound similar, but Mr. Patterson's always stand out from the rest. It was risky on the author's part to feature a N.Y.P.D. detective in a wheelchair as a main character, but it seems to work here. John Stefanovitch kicks ass, in my opinion. He's tough, brave, fearless and funny. I just wonder if a major city police department would place an officer with this type of disability on the street.

The pacing of The Midnight Club is very fast. Sometimes it was too fast, and I found myself backtracking a few pages to understand what was happening. It was tough keeping the good guys apart from the bad guys because they kept switching sides. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since it keeps the reader guessing.

As I stated earlier, there is a heavy dose of suspense in The Midnight Club. However, it comes at a price. The story is pretty violent, with lots of shooting and killing. I say this as a warning to any readers who may be offended by that type of story.

Romance is kept to a couple of scenes. Nothing special. Folks who like a good love story will be disappointed. This novel is 99% thriller.

My honest opinion? James Patterson's novels are an acquired taste. They are complete thrillers jam-packed with suspense. However, these books are a far cry from the choices offered in the Oprah Book Club, and it may take some time to get used to the violence.

That being said, I still recommend The Midnight Club to fellow readers who like a fast-paced story with interesting characters. Just don't stay up into the wee hours to read this book. James Patterson will get your adrenaline flowing so fast you won't be able to sleep. Who knows, maybe you will be a victim of The Midnight Club as well
Buy "The Midnight Club" at Amazon.com
Also by
James Patterson:
1st to Die
2nd Chance
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
The Official James Patterson Web Site