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Run for Your LifeReview - Run for Your Life
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Hachette Audio, 2009
Review by Bob Lane, MA
Jun 2nd 2009 (Volume 13, Issue 23)

Run for Your Life is the second Michael Bennett book by Patterson and Ledwidge. It's a good time to get in on the series since only Step on a Crack precedes this action packed novel. If you enjoy audio books this is one that will surprise and thrill you. Having two readers who are experts at their craft adds to the enjoyment. They present the story in an unambiguous way with characters identified by the two quite different voices of the readers. Most important the two do not get in the way of the text, but present it with clarity and power.

Cannavale made his Broadway debut in Mauritius and was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. Television credits include an Emmy for his performance in Will & Grace. Film credits include The Station Agent, Fast Food Nation, Snakes on a Plane, Shall We Dance, Romance and Cigarettes, The Bone Collector, and Washington Heights. Roberts stars in the upcoming films The Factory and Shrink. His films include 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line, Joshua, Flicka, The Notorious Bettie Page, and A Home at the End of the World. Television appearances include The L Word, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order. Dallas is a graduate of the Juillard School and recently starred off-Broadway in the hit production of Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry.

Patterson, of course, is one of the bestselling and best-known authors of all time with over 140 million copies of his books sold worldwide. Winner of an Edgar Award, he has had his novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider made into feature films starring Morgan Freeman. Michael Ledwidge is the author of The Narrowback, Bad Connection, and most recently, the coauthor, with James Patterson, of The Quickie and Step on a Crack. [Source]

A serial killer is loose in post 9/11 New York City. His victims appear to be random. He calls himself The Teacher and is out to educate New Yorkers who are snooty, rich and uncaring. He strikes at will and with skill. Armed with sophisticated weapons that he is expert at using he terrorizes the city while the Mayor and the NYPD struggle to deal with the murders, the panic and the press. NYPD detective Bennett is charged with leading the team to stop The Teacher. Bennett versus The Teacher – Good versus Evil.

Bennett is a driven New York City police detective who balances the high-pressure demands of his job with even more demanding domestic duties.   Bennett has recently lost his beloved wife and is now a single dad to ten adopted children. He is assisted by his grandfather Seamus,  a Catholic priest, and Mary Catherine, a twenty-something au-pair who may become a potential romantic interest for Bennett as the series progresses.

There is chaos in the streets of New York City and chaos in the home of Detective Bennett where the stomach flu has struck and sick children are throwing up everywhere. Monsignor Seamus provides some comic relief as he too is on the trail of evil – someone is stealing from the church's poor box. Good and evil, according to the iron rules of plot, must meet. And they do. After several murders The Teacher discovers through the media who Bennett is and begins to taunt him via instant messaging and in messages at the crime scenes. In an over the top conclusion the two meet in the air over New York City locked in mortal combat in a Cessna now being used as a weapon in The Teacher's ultimate act of violence and vengeance.

The Teacher's motives are slowly revealed in a carefully plotted story of violence and tenacity. The priest finds his thief. Bennett survives. The Teacher learns his lesson. The flu will always be with us.

The audio book is unabridged, extremely well produced, employs just the right amount of sound effects, and runs to about seven hours of action in its six disk format.

© 2009 Bob Lane

Bob Lane is an Honorary Research Associate in Philosophy and Literature at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia.


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