It’s a Mystery: Step on a Crack, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Step on a Crack

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A team of highjackers crashes a funeral at NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, taking as hostages dozens of high profile mourners. The police immediately cordon off the area and begin negotiations with Jack, the leader of the criminal pack. At the center of the crisis is senior Detective Michael Bennett, who has taken part in many operations like this. Or so he thinks. Whatever strategies the police employ, Jack and his cohorts neatly outsmart them at every turn. How do these guys know so much? As the hours drag by, another hostage is brutally murdered.

The plot and characters are winners as far long as the hostage situation is the focus. Lamentably, however, there’s an important subplot. Detective Bennett is not simply a husband and father. He has 10 kids, all adopted, all sweet as can be, and a more-Irish-than-leprechauns wife, Maeve, who is hospitalized with terminal cancer. Poor Mike is torn between the needs of family and the demands of his job, but he’s rescued by another couple of ultra-Irish characters, father in law turned priest and au pair sent over from the Auld Sod. To top it all off, it’s Christmas.

The highjack story is rather ingenious, but the family scenario (at one point Michael muses that it could be the next holiday Hallmark special – hmmm, maybe he’s onto something?) is sheer melodrama. Regrettable.

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5 thoughts on “It’s a Mystery: Step on a Crack, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

  1. Sounds suspiciously similar to another thriller in which Irish paramiltaries seize St Patricks Cathedral with the help of a dodgy British miltary intelligence bloke – and their ace in the hols is that they are also holding hostage secretly and separately the daughter of the city’s main hostage negotiator. An oddly charming priest-like figure comes over from Ireland to help out.
    Just trying to remember the name of this book.

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