You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson

I cannot believe James Patterson gets paid as much as he does. Seriously. This is the only book of his that I’ve ever read and maybe his early stuff is awesome and he’s just phoning it in now, or maybe he always wrote stuff like this.  (This novel is actually co-authored, leading me to believe even more that he’s just coming up with a story idea and farming out the actual writing.)

The writing was just really kind of lame. And for a 370 page book there were very few words on each page, and there were something like 95 chapters. Because near the end each chapter was only a page long. I’m not kidding. And every chapter ends with some brief “shocking” sentence like “Only she wasn’t alone.” Every time I read one of those things I could hear “bum bum BUM” in my head and imagined David Caruso on a boat with sunglasses.

The plot of the story is thus: aspiring photographer Kristin has a recurring nightmare about 4 murders at a hotel, she is horrified when she witnesses the bodies being removed from the hotel just like in her dream.  She is also a nanny for a very wealthy couple and coincidentally is having an affair with the husband.  She longs for him to dump his nasty wife so she and he can be a happy family with his two young children, whom she loves as if they’re her own.  In addition to the horrifying nightmare, Kristin encounters various people on the streets of New York she is shocked to see, such as her father, who died years ago.  And her old pediatrician, who was murdered.  On top of seeing dead people strangers keep coming up to her and saying “you’ve been warned.”

Honestly, it was a lousy book. Yes, I read it in a day and I wanted to find out the answer to the “mystery,” but you can pretty much figure it out on your own about a chapter into the book.  The only real surprise to me was something pulled out in the final pages, but it seems kind of lame to me to just keep having these little chapters of suspense just to get the answer at end. It didn’t help that Kristin came across as a stereotypical foolish dumb person waiting for her wealthy lover to leave his wife.

Oh, and I had to check the copyright (2007) when Kristin wants to find out information about the murders and so turns on the tv to wait for the 5 o’clock news. Oh, please. She would surely just go online! I suppose if you want well developed characters and plot and suspense then this genre is not for you (me) and perhaps I’m being a little harsh and unfair because this just isn’t my style and plenty of people clearly love his work.  But not me.

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8 thoughts on “You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson

  1. Wugh. I read Patterson’s Cradle and All earlier this year, and all I had to say at the end was, “Really?!?” It was so, so awful. I’ve heard other people say his early stuff was decent, but it seems like he’s become the Danielle Steele of his genre. Yarf.

  2. I’ve only read one of James Patterson’s books and I absolutely loved it. It was an entirely different genre and he authored it by himself – give Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas a shot – I absolutely loved it!

  3. I think I have read every James Patterson and John Sanford book in print. “You Have Been Warned” is definitely the biggest literary disappointment of the century so far. I only hope that it was written in haste to meet a deadline and Mr. Patterson et al will decide to go back to the excellent mystery/thriller writing that I have grown to love and anticipate.

    • This book was the absolute worst. I can’t believe James Patterson is affixing his name to some of these “co-authored” books of late. The book made no sense. Is Kristin alive or dead? Did these events happen in 13 minutes? Was this deja vu? Was she foreseeing into the future? What were the transparencies in the photos about? Someone please clue me in. I finished the book too only because I wanted to find out the ending but was sorely disappointed. Save your money. Don’t buy any more “co-authored” books. Getting to be a production machine only.

  4. ok, a lot of cliches & lack of compassion for the main character, yes, but all in all it was a real page turner. It didn’t take me very long to get hooked, and it kept me going until the very end – that’s what i look for in a good book. i’m actually just now getting into j.p’s thrillers so im hoping based on the above opinions the stories will keep getting better!

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