Review: Cradle and All

Published Categorised as Writings, Book Reviews

Cradle and AllCradle and All by James Patterson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Boy, does James Patterson write short chapters. That was my first thought, this from someone who writes short chapters herself, but not quite that brief. This style of writing moves the story along rapidly and doesn’t require the author to put in transitions in between scenes or even mid-scene. But it doesn’t create suspense. The plot itself is suspenseful — for about a third of the way in. Then we know what the mystery is about. Still, the main story is engaging enough to keep one reading to find out who is whom, but Patterson resorts to predictable techniques to create suspense, which don’t work too well because they are predictable. My objection to his style of writing is it’s loose and has rather a feel of being dashed off. It’s OK to zip through the writing as long as it doesn’t feel like you did. Also things happen and then everything goes back to normal and you’re left hanging, wondering what happened to so-and-so.

The romance was OK but it didn’t move me. I wasn’t rooting for the couple. Perhaps the rapid shifts in point of view kind of broke that spell. The revelation in the final chapters is unexpected, so it has that going for it, but there’s no sense of “oh yeah!” to it, which IMHO, a good mystery or thriller ought to have especially when you absolutely don’t see the solution coming. And the very ending at the very end was truly disappointing. It’s supposed to make you hear that doo-doo doo-doo music. But it is unbelievable. And it is such a cliche, the eyes roll heavenward.

It’s too bad Goodreads doesn’t have half stars, otherwise I’d give it 2.5 stars. I did give it 3, but then on reflecting back that I didn’t look forward to reading it like I do an Agatha Christie, I downgraded it to 2.

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