Saturday, July 18, 2015

Truth or die by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

"What you don't know can't hurt you", is an old saying, but sometimes it should be "what you don't know can get you killed, or kill the ones you love".  When his girlfriend is killed in what appears to be a robbery gone wrong Trevor Mann finds himself drawn into a conspiracy that will rock his world to the core.  Claire wasn't just his girlfriend, she was an investigative reporter with a reputation for being hard nosed, honest, and fiercely loyal to her sources - even spending time in jail rather than giving up her source.  That honesty and integrity leads her to a story that is too big for any one person to handle, a conspiracy that people will kill for again, and again, and again.

At first Trevor has no idea what he is up against, it just seems like Claire was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but once he scratches below the surface and finds Claire's source he realises just how deep the rabbit hole goes.  Doctors working in America have created a truth serum unlike any other, it doesn't just encourage you to tell the truth it makes it virtually impossible to do anything but tell the truth.  In disturbing footage Trevor discovers just how potent the serum is, as he watches suspects succumb to the pain and terror - but he also watches as an innocent man dies because of the acceptable loss fail rate.  The race is on to find the source of the serum and to prove it - because Trevor is in the cross hairs and the men in control of the serum consider him an acceptable loss.

When you find an author you really like it is difficult not to get excited when you hear a new book is coming out - especially when it appears that the book is a stand alone rather than the start of a new series.  In my household the release of a new James Patterson is always a cause for excitement as except for a very few titles they always seem to hit the spot.  There are two main streams of Patterson (speaking very broadly), the twisted whodunnits in the great tradition of murder mysteries and thrillers the world over, and then there are the action based thrillers which take you on an adrenaline fueled rush from page one to the last page.  Sometimes there is a little bit of an overlap, but generally they fall into one of those two camps - and Truth or die is definitely in the second camp keeping you on the edge of your seat from go to whoa.

Truth or die takes a single death under suspicious circumstances and leads you to a conspiracy that seems just real enough to make you think it could be happening right now somewhere in the US.  Conspiracy theorists and movies tell us that the US government is always working on the next tactical advantage, and with all the advance in medicine and science it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a truth serum that can kill you for telling lies really could exist - today, or in a today just around the corner.  Trevor Mann is an interesting character to observe and experience this conspiracy through, partly because his background makes him somewhat more believable than some other characters who have fallen into similar circumstances.  It feels like this is a stand alone book, but who knows maybe we might get to see Trevor and his world again - and that wouldn't be a bad thing.

James Patterson and his writing is the subject of some scorn in literary circles because he writes so many books and because some people see them as the same book over and over again.  While he has a style, you don't read the same book twice when you read a Patterson, but you do get a good, fun ride that will keep you turning to the last page.  The few exceptions for me have been books that have been a little too descriptive, a little too clever, or ones where the writing chemistry is missing from the co-authored title.  Hopefully we can expect many more from Patterson, for many more years to come.

If you like this book then try:
  • Step on a crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • The basement: A novel  by Stephen Leather
  • Swimsuit by James Patterson
  • Kill switch by Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene
  • Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • Private # 1 suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • The silent girl by Tess Gerritsen
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • Hide by Lisa Gardner
  • Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeffry P. Lindsay
  • Kiss the girls by James Patterson
  • Kill me if you can by James Patterson and Marshall Kamp

Reviewed by Brilla

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