ORANGE LAKE, NEW YORK
SIXTY MILES NORTH OF NEW YORK CITY
STARTING TO GASP AS she climbed the increasingly steep slope of the tangled hiking trail, Mary Catherine was about to take a breather when the tree line opened. Glancing out over the open ridge, she immediately halted in her tracks, as what was left of her breath was suddenly taken.
Off to the right, the flat lake and majestic foothills of the Catskill Mountains glowed in the soft morning light like a priceless Hudson River School landscape come to life. Mary Catherine stood for a moment, mesmerized by the exhilarating vista, the distant golden hills, the mile-long expanse of silvery blue water, smooth and perfect as a freshly tucked-in sheet.
Only for a moment.
Two geese floating by the near shore of the lake took frantic, honking flight as a large projectile landed in the water beside them with a tremendous, booming slap.
“Youkilis tries to tag from third!” Eddie Bennett yelled as the baseball-size rock he’d just chucked sent violent ripples over the serene water. He dropped to his knees as he threw his arms up in dramatic triumph. “But the Yankees’ new center fielder, Eddie the Laser Beam Bennett, throws him out by a mile. Ball game over. Pennant over. Thuuuuh Yankees win!”
“Mary Catherine!” protested one of the girls from the front of the long, single-file line of children already on the move through the trees farther down the trail.
There were ten of them in all, six girls, four boys. Being a mix of Spanish and Asian, black and white, and ranging in age from seven to sixteen, they were often mistaken for a small Montessori school.
But they weren’t, Mary Catherine knew. They were a family, believe it or not. A large, raucous, often aggravating, but ultimately always loving family. One she found herself smack-dab in the middle of again and again for some reason.
Who was she kidding? she thought as she hauled Eddie up and sent him scurrying ahead of her along the forest path. She knew the reason, or at least the main one. His name was Mike Bennett, the NYPD detective father of these ten crazy kids, stuck back in the city on a case. Which meant she was on riot patrol without backup here at the Bennett family lake house. At least until the weekend.
This latest frenzied fiasco of an outdoor adventure was actually courtesy of the two littlest ones, Shawna and Chrissy: a first-ever Bennett family vacation breakfast picnic. But it was Jane, the Girl Scout, who had turned it into a full-blown nature walk with her Orange County field guide. An activity Ricky, Eddie, and Trent were determined to tease into oblivion at every turn, of course.
Less than a minute later, Mary Catherine watched helplessly as, midway down the hiking line, Ricky Bennett suddenly hopped up on a rock and began making drumbeat sounds with his mouth. It was a rap beat, Mary Catherine knew. The very same one the thirteen-year-old had driven them all crazy with on last night’s two-hour ride up here.
“Uh-oh. Here we go. More dissension in the ranks,” Mary Catherine mumbled as she hurried forward through the column of kids.
Reprinted from the book I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson. Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, N.Y. All rights reserved
Impossible as it seems, a vicious South American crime lord has taken over the streets of New York, bringing the worst lawlessness and violence the city has ever seen. Police gunned down in cold blood. Judges shot dead in the middle of the courtroom as shocked and terrified onlookers scramble for cover. Mayhem has been unleashed and taken over—and Manhattan’s beleaguered mayor demands that super cop Detective Michael Bennett find a way to end the madness.
Bennett, putting his family’s safety first, takes his ten kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, out of the chaos on a so-called vacation to a reclusive area in upstate New York. But instead of escaping the violence it follows them, and they find themselves in the middle of another nightmare that threatens to destroy the entire family. And the danger, Bennett soon finds, isn't only coming from the crime lord’s killers—federal prosecutor Tara McLellan is back on the scene and Bennett’s powerful attraction to her endangers his tenuous relationship with Mary Catherine.
A no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-floor, action-packed novel, I, Michael Bennett is James Patterson at his most thrilling best.
Hardcover Book : 416 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( July 09, 2012 )
Item #: 13-492286
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.94inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I have to agree that this is certainly not one of Patterson's best novels. The ending was a letdown at best. Mr. Patterson, Michael Bennett has a long way to go to be in the same category as Alex Cross. He's still your best character ever.
Reviewer: Beth H
Too many Chapters regarding the family that could have been left out. As many said - what a lousy ending. (Is this just to sell more books?) The story line was relatively good, but really far fetched that anyone could do what Perrine did with practically everything. Not one of Patterson's best books. I usually buy each book he writes, but if things don't improve - time to find another similar author.
Reviewer: william j
I could not put this book down! My only wish is that the next one comes out very soon! I want to know what happens next! I gave it 4 stars not 5 because I don't like be left wondering, but still loved it!
Reviewer: T S
Cant wait to purchase this book...i have loved this series, but I like the alex cross series way better
I really, really love this series, almost as much as I love the Alex Cross series - the beginning ones, that is. I can't wait for the sequel to the Michael Bennett book. I don't want to forget the story line before the next one comes out!! Keep up the good work.