Lifeguard by James Patterson & Andrew Gross -Review
Ned Kelly meets the woman of his dreams while working at a Florida resort as a lifeguard. Their lives are complete opposites. She lives in a 5-star hotel, while he lives above a garage. She prefers haute couture, while he wears flip-flops.
When Ned's cousin offers him a partnership in a get-rich quick deal, Ned cannot turn him down. The plan is quite simple. While Ned distracts the police by setting off alarms in upscale houses, his cousin and friends will pull off a quick robbery of some expensive art. Although the risk is high, there is $5 million dollars at stake!
When something goes tragically wrong the night of the breaking and entering job, Ned learns that his friends were mass murdered and his new gal, Tess, was murdered as well. Fearing he will be suspect #1, Ned runs away from his town, his job and the woman he has just fallen in love with. He runs away in a panic, not knowing who may be chasing him. Could it be the FBI, the people who sabotaged the theft, or is it linked to his new love?
Once out of Florida, Ned tries hard to figure out where to go and what to do. With someone hot on his trail, he must keep moving until he can find out who pulled off the art heist and murders and also find a way to clear his name.
This novel meets both of my criteria for a great mystery! There are many twists and turns in the plot, making it impossible for me to figure out where the story is going or how the mystery will end. It is also written with the fast pace James Patterson is known for, so fast that I did not want to put Lifeguard down until I finished reading the book. Although co-authored by Andrew Gross, I could not tell which parts of Lifeguard were written by which author. Kudos to Patterson and Gross for successfully weaving together their parts of the novel.
There are many characters to keep track of as you read this mystery, but they are each so well described and developed that they are easy to recall. From Ned Kelly, to his cousin, Mom and Pop, friends, FBI agents, local law enforcement officers and the elite of Palm Beach, each person in this thrilling mystery plays a key role in the story.
While I loved this novel, it is definitely more of a beach read than Patterson's Alex Cross novels. I believe there is a place for both types of novels, as I prefer lighter reading on the beach.