March 27, 2006
Bestseller Patterson shows signs of having gone to the well too often in this slapdash collaboration with de Jonge, his coauthor on The Beach House
(2002). Tom Dunleavy, a former professional basketball player and local East Hampton legend, is getting by as an underworked and unmotivated attorney. His sports glory days and his one true love are long in the past, but he gets second chances at personal and professional redemption when three locals are gunned down, apparently in the aftermath of racial tensions arising from a heated pickup game of hoops. The police seize on Dante Halleyville, the country's best high school star, as their suspect, and Dunleavy must dust off his old courtroom skills and enlist his lost love, Kate Costello, as his partner. Patterson readers know to expect a surprise ending, but he leaves too few possibilities for many to be genuinely fooled. Fans can only hope that Patterson soon returns to the level he achieved with his Alex Cross series.