Worst Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (audio)

Worst Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is the third book in the Michael Bennett detective series.  Readers will not have to read the other two books in the series to follow along as this New York Detective takes on a child kidnapper with a social agenda.  Bennett is a single father with 10 children — not all of them biological — whose holy grandfather Seamus and nanny Mary Catherine make his life a little less hectic and in some cases even more so.

Bennett must not only balance his fatherly duties with detective work, but also must learn to separate the cases he works on as part of major crimes.  New York is an excellent location for this detective, with its high crime boroughs and its high class residents.  Worst Case is narrated superbly by three narrators, Bobby Cannavale, Orlagh Cassidy, and John Glover as each voice takes on either Bennett, FBI child kidnapping expert Emily Parker, or the serial murderer.

“Without pausing, he veered to my left, bounded up onto the low iron railing, and dove without a sound off the bridge.

I think my heart actually stopped.  I ran to my left and looked down.  The guy was plummeting toward the water when there was a strange bloom of color that at first I thought was an explosion.  I though he’d blown himself up, but then I saw the orange canopy of a parachute.”  (page 187)

Readers will enjoy the fast paced, short chapters with their clipped sentences as tension builds and Bennett runs in circles around the city at the behest of the killer.  The narrators of the audio pulled off the New York and Virginia accents as they read through the book, although the sound effects of gun shots and other items were a bit disturbing, especially when driving late a night on dark highways.

Worst Case is another sign that this series about Michael Bennett is just heating up.  Another suspenseful winner.

This is my 11th book for the 2010 Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge.


  1. I’m curious what type of social agenda a child kidnapper might have.
    And 10 kids and he is detective … yikes.

    • It’s fun to see how Bennett balances the kids and work. And yeah, the social agenda is part of the reason I enjoyed this one.

  2. I’m glad you liked it Serena…I enjoyed it too. The voice of Glover just creeped me out!

  3. I’ve got this in print version – hopefully, I can get to it soon.

    • I had this in hard copy from my mom after she reviewed it, but I was already listening to the audio, so I just used her copy to pull a quote.

  4. I loved Bobby Cannavale on Third Watch! Sounds like this might be good, though I haven’t read or listened to any in this series yet.