CBR #136 – I’m The Firestarter, Twisted Firestarter

Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis

Dontcha hate sporting events?  Patterson’s stand alone novels are hit or miss. There’ve been a few I really enjoy, and then there are some that are just the worst — TOYS, ZOO — and then there are these.  I almost hit four stars on this book at first, and then it just slowly, devolved into two stars and the usual Patterson claptrap.

A maniac is flying around the United States, brutally killing people and then staging the corpses in accidental fires to brilliantly hide the evidence.  The killers up in the hundreds.  And the only one who believes that there even is a killer is a discredited FBI analyst.

How do I hate thee, Invisible?  Let me count the ways.

The murders are pretty great.  Nothing too over the top or gratuitous.  But the killer is smart.  The mystery seems clever. I SAID SEEMS.  Bear with me.

The heroine is the worst.  She’s an insecure neurotic.  Imagine Woody Allen as Columbo.  THE FUCKING WORST.  So she’s paranoid, constantly accusing everyone of sexism (including herself), petty, spiteful, brutally jealous.  We’re supposed to be on her side, but I hate her, and I kind of hoped the killer would get away with it and she’d be discredited and then eventually burned alive.

Speaking of annoying and neurotic.  Our murderer.  We get insight into his mind through interspersed transcripts of The Graham Sessions.  Patterson often includes chapters from the killer’s perspective.  Which are fine.  But these quickly start off as screeds about how brilliant he is.  And then it falls into neurosis over being caught and about the girl he loves and how she rejects him.  To continue my metaphor, it’s like beating Columbo to death with a Jackie Collins novel.

There is someone named Books.  Because he name is Bookman.  And he runs a Bookstore.  Called The Bookman.  FUCK YOU.

I figured out the murder about halfway though and dodged every red herring thrown.  The reveal is unsatisfying.  And stupid. And pointless.

Anyway, Patterson fooled me and then farted on me.  It’s his raison d’etre.  I’d say no more, but he doesn’t care, and I’m his bitch forever more.


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