By Angie Georgeff
Anyone who regularly visits the library has surely concluded that James Patterson is a popular and prolific author of books for adults and children. I certainly know it. When I visit the website of the company from which we buy most of our books, I find fifty-four pages of entries listed under the name “Patterson, James.” More than 1,100 of those products are by the James Patterson that most of you have in mind.
At first, most of his novels generate hardcover, audiobook and Playaway editions. Those are followed by trade paperback and eventually mass market paperback editions, but still that is a lot of novels. These days the vast majority are written with the help of co-authors.
I catalog at least one book by James Patterson every month of the year. I have added as many as four during a single calendar month. Consequently, I seldom pay much attention to them. I connect our standing order copy to the bibliographic record in the OWL (Organization of Watauga Libraries) catalog and pass it on to Kristy for processing. Last week, however, I picked up Patterson’s latest novel, “The Black Book,” which he co-wrote with David Ellis, and a blurb on the back cover caught my eye.
It was a brief quote from the author. He started by listing the four books that top the roll of his favorite literary children. “With each,” he said, “I had a good feeling when the writing was finished.” He then went on to say he considers “The Black Book” to be the best work he has done in twenty years. James Patterson has produced a lot of books in the past twenty years, so that is saying something!
The title refers to a “little black book” belonging to the madam of a top drawer Chicago brothel. When police raid the establishment, they embarrass – and arrest – some of the most powerful men in the city. Even the mayor, who recently tried to cut police pensions but suddenly is willing to negotiate, is taken into custody. You can just imagine the scandal.
There is no shortage of evidence, but the madam does not use a computer to keep records and her black book is nowhere to be found. With so much on the line, police, politicians and everyone whose name is in the book are scrambling to claim the prize. And someone is willing to kill for it.
I don’t read thrillers, so I would make a very poor judge, but I am curious. Is “The Black Book” really as good as Patterson thinks it is? More importantly, do we need to order an extra copy? The reviews I have read so far are quite good, but please let me know what you think!