Book Review – Swimsuit by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro


A better title for Swimsuit might be “Run-of-the Mill Serial Killer.” The book seems to feel like the red swimsuit pictured on the cover is the predominant theme of this fast read, when in reality, it has little or nothing to do with the overall story.

That’s not why I’m being so sarcastic with this review, though; there are plenty of good things with bad titles. What really irks me about Patterson’s newest book is that there’s nothing exceedingly new or creative about this bland drama centered on a serial killer stalking a journalist who has gotten too close to the subject of his story. Patterson’s quick, flowing prose is here in copious amounts, but his storyline falls too closely to any of the other 70 suspense novels you can find in a mystery book catalog. For a veteran mystery writer like Patterson, Swimsuit‘s underdeveloped plot stands out, not unlike Dean Koontz‘s latest.

Swimsuit relies too heavily on research about serial killers; consult any psychology book or non-fiction crime story and you’ll find Patterson’s descriptions of his killer fit to a T. Unfortunately, that’s just not cutting it in this novel; there are significant death sequences, but overall the novel follows a generic plot sequence until the very end. That is except for the final moments of the novel in a showdown between killer and journalist. The stakes have been ramped up, the suspense at an all-time high, and then – just like that! – Patterson rips out those thrilling, dramatic pages and replaces them with some lame cliffhanger that fails to produce the desirable excitement. You mean I’ve read those previous 300 pages, not without enjoyment but with little to impress me, and that’s what you leave me with? Inconclusive storytelling!

Certainly not a fresh take on the psychopath, Swimsuit won’t make you bored, but it does fail to live up to Patterson’s more original novels. Patterson has been cranking out the books, and maybe he’s fallen a little short on ideas. Let’s hope for better crafting of the next book.

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