Step on a Crack

James Patterson, Author, Michael Ledwidge, Author . Little, Brown $27.99 (383p) ISBN 978-0-316-01394-9

Pop a bowl of popcorn, settle into a comfy chair and you might finish this combination thriller and tearjerker before the popcorn. Bestseller Patterson (Cross ) and Ledwidge (The Narrowback ) spin a fantastic tale of an audacious mass kidnapping and the unlikely detective thrust into the primary role of negotiator, sleuth and hero. Michael Bennett, a senior NYPD homicide detective, has a wife dying of cancer and 10 adopted children of various ethnic origins. When St. Patrick's Cathedral, site of the celebrity-packed funeral of a former first lady, is seized by a dozen ruthless men, Bennett ends up as point man for the hastily assembled negotiating team. From then on, the tale requires the reader to go with the flow as Bennett alternates visits to his wife's hospital bedside, brief trips to check on how his kids are managing and tense dealings with the well-prepared kidnappers. Short on credibility on the crime front, long on sentimentality on the home front, this book would be a good candidate for adaptation as a one-hour TV movie. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/22/2007
Release date: 02/01/2007
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