Reading notes: ‘Murder in Paradise’, by James Patterson

I recently read this collection of three novellas by James Patterson and various coauthors. (Since when has Patterson written his own books from start to finish? But I digress.)

Some readers were angry because these novellas had previously been published as “Bookshots”. (This is/was Patterson’s attempt to market novellas as a new idea, a concept that met with mixed reviews.)

Anyway: I had not read the novellas before, so I was experiencing all three stories for the first time.

Overall, not too bad. Let’s look at them one-by-one, briefly:

The Lawyer Lifeguard: An attorney must track down the evildoers who murdered his girlfriend via car bomb. 

The Doctor’s Plot: A medical examiner in Napa Valley uncovers an elaborate murder conspiracy.

The Shut-In: A Millennial woman with various ailments is confined to her Philadelphia apartment. For recreation, she pilots a drone. Then one day, the drone happens to fly over a murder as it’s taking place.

The first story is pretty good. The second one is a bit too ambitious for the tone and length. (James Patterson does Robin Cook, perhaps?) The third one is hands-down the best.

These are not stories that are going to change your life. These are James Patterson popcorn beach reads. Set your expectations accordingly. If you think about any of these novellas too long, you’ll notice little plot holes and jump-the-shark moments. The Murder in Paradise collection is light entertainment. Keep that in mind.  

I consumed these tales via audio. I did most of my listening while mowing the lawn and working out at the gym. They are perfect for that. (I certainly wouldn’t try to consume Haruki Murakami this way.)

Give these novellas a try if you’re so inclined. Amazon links above.