Richard North Patterson- I read several books by Richard North Patterson, and I am still not sure if I would consider him one of my top authors. I am in process of reading his political novels and so far I read: “Private Screening” “No Safe Place”, “Protect and Defend” and “Balance of Power”. These books are about Kerry Kilcannon a son of an Irish Immigrant who after the death of his famous brother a US Senator, decided to peruse his political career. After getting his law degree, Kerry became a Senator and eventually the US President. The political thrillers are not about the “big” issues that our nation struggles with today like: the economy, social security problems, health care, job creation, international politics or terrorism.
As a politician Kilcannon is fighting battles with powerful interest groups, which have huge influences on the political map of our nation, by controlling the money (campaign contributions) and media. These issues are the most polarizing in the county, and it seems like everyone has a strong opinion about the right to abortion or gun controls laws. Significant portion of these books are about domestic violence and court procedures. What I do not like about Patterson’s writing is the way the author writes about the politics in the White House. Regardless of anyone’s political point of view (unless you are complete, close minded “left winger”), the picture of US politicians the author provides us with is so unrealistic that it just silly. I assume that the author’s intentions is to show us the insides of the legislative and judicial system of our country (unless Patterson had in mind science fiction story). So according to Patterson Washington is full of democrats who are dedicating their lives to the average “Joe”, and by doing that they are willing to sacrifice themselves so we all have a better future. And then we have the evil Republicans who think only about themselves, their political careers, and who a “screwing” the people of this country by giving in to the interest groups that can help them to be re-elected. I don’t know that much about politics but this part of Patterson books is just drive me crazy.
Behind the political “injustice” the books them self are not too bad. The subjects the author is writing about are interesting to most citizens of the World. What Patterson did, skillfully was connect the political battles in Washington and with the personal life of Kerry Kilcannon. While the president fought about abortion rights his wife ( girl friend at that point) aborted a child, while he fought about domestic violence , he drew from his own childhood experiences and his abusive father, while he battled the gun control issues he remember his own brother who was killed etc. Over all it is little strange that one person, especially US President would have all of these life experiences but that is why these books a fictional.
There are some other books by Richard North Patterson that are worth reading:
“Eyes of a child”– cool book about a suspicious suicide, custody battle, possible child molestation, greed, and a trial that made me wonder where the truth lies. This is fast action with many twists that will keep you interested all the way to the end.
“In the name of Honor”– if there is one book by Patterson you want to read go with this one. Fantastic book that I cannot describe better than this:
“A compelling and gripping read. Patterson explores the very real pressures of the loyalty, honor, and duty that accompany military service. It’s a thriller that strikes at the heart of every soldier.”
—Senator John McCain
This book is a twisted tale of two military families whose close friendship is getting tested by the death of one of its members. The main character Lt Brian McCarran is accused of killing his superior officer Capt. Joe D’Abruzzo ( who is married to Kate Gallagher. Brian’s close friend). The author does a fantastic job by creating two very contrasting characters ( MCCarran and D’Ambruzzo), who have different views on everything from the role of the military officers , honor and duties, marriage and family relationships. The somewhat unexpected ending makes a lasting impression – great job by Richard North Patterson.
“The Devil’s Light”-a book about terrorist plot of Al Qaeda that are intending to “celebrate”the tenth anniversary of 9/11 by detonating a nuclear boom over a major city. This book will make you think about our safety and the role of the government in providing the protection to our nation. I know this is a fiction , but it sounded very realistic, for everyone who always complains about the government probing into our lives , about monitoring calls and other national security measures it maybe good wake up call, and maybe we all should give up some of our privileges for the safety of our country.
“Fall from Grace” – I was not a great book, but still worth mentioning. This novel is about Adam Blaine who came back after 10 yr to Martha’s Vineyard to attend his father Ben’s funeral. The plot is great, the twisted lives of all the charters, the uncertainty of Ben’s death, the secretive life of Adam and the strange relationships among friends a family members makes it for an interesting read. However, the long monologues, conversations about nothing makes this book less interesting to read especially in comparing to “ In the name of Honor”.