Book Review: James Patterson – The First Lady

I hope that this is the worst book I read all year. Because it is BAD.

In truth, I wouldn’t have looked twice at this book if I wasn’t on my first charity shopping trip of the year and it was sat in front of me for just £2. And I thought, oh well, sometimes I feel like reading something American. And although I had no real prior knowledge of Brendan Dubois’ writing (because we all know how the Patterson book factory really works), I thought, how awful can it really be?

It had lots of twists, lots of drama and lots of political commentary.
It had lots of unbelievable, impossible twists, lots of predictable drama and lots of heavily weighted, on-the-nose, very badly written and unsubtle political commentary. The moment where that last point went too far was when the leader of the evil corporation who carry out shady criminal enterprises across America shared with us that he only watches non MSM news because he agrees with them and that Reagan was too liberal for his tastes. The worst thing is that most of this commentary is given to us through very unrealistic dialogue.

Not even Agent Sally Grissom, the main character, managed to escape the one-dimensionalism of the book, with her home life occasionally making an appearance to try and humanise her, when all it manages to do is make me really despise her. Even when her soon-to-be-ex-husband Ben gets brutally murdered for no apparent reason (this isn’t resolved by the end either) I was left with a feeling of… so what?

Indeed, Marsha Gray, a very cliched, diminutive, dark-skinned, female assassin, is the only character I was rooting for in the whole book. Her story makes zero sense, indeed, but I would probably have preferred it only if she had worked her way through the whole cast before the end of this agonising book. At least it would have been good. Hmmm, maybe if it had a different writer too….

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