NYPD Major Case Detective Michael Bennett finds himself overmatched, 12 to 1...
Actually, when "Tick Tock" begins, Bennett is on a beach vacation with his ten kids, his cantankerous grandfather, Seamus, and the kids' lovely nanny, Mary Catherine. She's Irish. And young. And really hot. Bennett has noticed this detail, too, being an ace detective.
Bennett's peaceful vacation is shattered on two fronts. Close to home, his kids are being terrorized by some local kids named Flaherty, who would prefer the multicultural Bennett clan not share the beach with them.
Back in New York, things are even worse. A bomb left in a public library carries a message that more killings will occur. The message is not a lie. As bodies pile up, it becomes apparent that somebody evil has done some research. Bennett and his team work frenetically, trying to stop this madman before he strikes again.
Obviously, since this is a crime thriller/mystery, I don't want to give away too much. I like the Michael Bennett best of all the James Patterson franchises. (I like Alex Cross, but I'm tired of listening to him) Mike Bennett is a good cop, but his pride and joy is his family, the ten children he and his late wife, Maeve, adopted over the years. He draws strength from their love, and they keep his heart light, despite the horrors of his day job.
"Tick Tock" didn't feel like a normal Patterson novel. In many of his works--both Patterson's solo efforts and his multiple collaborations--there's a sense of hurtling or rushing. Some chapters in those novels are only a page and a half. You get slammed from one place to another, then back, all within a few pages. I'm not complaining--it's a storytelling device, and Patterson uses it effectively.
I felt like "Tick Tock" displayed more of co-author Michael Ledwidge's touch. Honestly, I haven't read any of his solo works, but this Patterson novel didn't feel so Pattersony, if you will. The pacing was more relaxed, and I truly enjoyed the change.
Pacing aside, the story is a good one, beautifully revealed, and it leads to an excellent ending.
Normally, I blast through a James Patterson novel in a day. With "Tick Tock," I enjoyed it over a couple nights. Maybe it's the different pacing, or maybe it's that the Bennett series is my favorite, but "Tick Tock" earned its place among my favorite works from James Patterson, et al.