- Originally posted on September 29, 2018
It has been said that every author has a bad book in them. When it comes to James Patterson, every series has one. And 15th Affair is probably the worst novel in the entire of the series. It was a real battle to reach the end of the book.
The premise looks good. Four people get shot dead in a hotel, and the suspect is elusive. And then her husband goes missing at the same time. And by this point, the blurb makes you think that it’s all connected.
The main problem with this plot is, it’s completely ludicrous. I love myself a break from reality, but I’m sure after 14 novels of normality, Lindsay Boxer is astounded to discover that gangs of men chasing her around New York trying to kill her, a quadruple homicide, the disappearance of her husband and a terrorist attack on a plane killing over 400 people are all somehow linked to her husband’s former job (which she knows nothing about) and his associations with a woman which ended a decade ago.
It’s not even sensibly approached. There is absolutely nothing vaguely realistically procedural going on here- Lindsay seems to spend more time moping around her apartment and talking to Mrs Rose, a convenient lonely character who can seemingly spend day after day looking after Lindsay’s infant without a single issue, than actually working the case. There cannot be more than a handful of actual police interviews in the entire novel.
And the last third of the novel, just when you have no idea how it’s all going to wrap itself up, every single dramatic event which threatens to take place is broken up by seemingly endless clichés about Lindsay wondering whether to trust her husband, or if she should let him back in her life or not. Long-standing readers deserve better.
And there’s one final issue which I have not directly addressed on here until now, but many other JP readers have across the Internet. Patterson writes romance lazily, almost methodically and scientifically. It’s as if two robots are going at it, as opposed to actual humans. If sex is really that boring, I’m stunned that celibacy hasn’t caught on a bit more.
Obviously, there is no evidence to prove how much either Patterson or (co-author) Maxine Paetro each contributed to the novel, but its frustrating that this book was so torturous because both have repeatedly proven when working together that they can write brilliantly. Hopefully the 16th installment will be vastly improved because, at this moment in time, the only things keeping me plodding on through this series are the characters and the fast-fading memories of previous successes.