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Book review: Lifeguard by James Patterson

By James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Hachette Book Group USA

I’ve seen a few reviewers blast this book out of the water. Yes, the characters are a bit thin, and the plot is predictable, but there is a bunch of good action and is a good solid story. What I like most about Patterson is the ultra short chapters.

The story opens with Palm Beach lifeguard Ned Kelly. He’s in bed with his perfect dream girl Tess. She’s got the looks, the body and obviously a hell of a bunch of money. And the best part is that she is with him.

Later that night Ned is walking on cloud nine. He’s part of a group of thieves planning on pulling off an art heist, which will net him a cool million dollars. Finally, Ned feels he’s hit the big time with having Tess and now already spending the million dollars in his head.

That’s when the simple plan goes wrong and people start dying. The FBI gets involved and Ned Kelly finds himself running from the law, and not because of the art heist, but because of the murders and him kidnapping an FBI agent. Six or seven of Ned’s family and friends end up dead along his journey for freedom and justice.

He also finds another love (an FBI agent) willing to help him solve the mysteries of who’s behind the murders and trying to frame him.

Lifeguard has love, sex, a bit of mystery, and some action thrown in that makes it a good fast read. If you’re looking for an intellectual stimulus, this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for something that you can put down because of being interrupted every five or ten minutes it’s perfect.

I’m fairly new to reading Patterson but I really enjoy the short chapters, snappy dialogue, and characters you don’t have to keep asking who they are and where do they fit in because of flatness. Most of the time I don’t care what they are feeling, I care about what they’re doing. Action, action, action, I say! Action is what keeps you turning the pages and Lifeguard has plenty of that!