Alert (Michael Bennett) by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge


Reviewed by Allen Hott

AlertThese two authors have put together an interesting and even a potentially possible tale of some terrorists who want to do damage to New York City and its inhabitants.

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Michael Bennett, a NYPD detective, who is a lifelong resident of the city and has a rather large family which he raises along with a retired old priest. Bennett’s wife is dead and though he has a pretty steady girlfriend he still does all the fathering and child rearing with minimal help.

Bennett has just been assigned additional duties in the Major Crimes section and very quickly he gets involved in just that. Several bombs have been set off in the subway system beneath Broadway in the Washington Heights. Tremendous damage was done along with death of several riders and subway workers.

Much to Bennett’s chagrin the Mayor decides to be stand outdoors in the downtown area to explain the situation to his constituents both live and via television. As he was finishing his speech a sound was heard and Bennett looked over to see the Mayor’s head explode.

The shot was from a very distant skyscraper about three quarters of a mile away. After finding the shooter’s location Bennett and his crew found out the shot was computer enabled so no one was in the area. But what’s next?

Sure enough more troubles continue to baffle the authorities as the next day a major electronic outage occurs throughout the city shutting down everything electrical. There is so much commotion and terror now running thru the city that the FBI is also called into the picture.

This puts Bennett with a former associate of his, Emily Parker. They had gotten very friendly working together previously and had done some great work as a team.

But this one looks like a monumental catastrophe about to happen as a demand for ransom is made based on the threat of a giant tidal wave caused by explosives set off in a a distant off shore location.

The story really takes off at this point as the Bennett/Parker team starts chasing down every possible lead but they also run into problems caused by their superiors who do not believe they are doing enough.

More and more obstacles arise and they can only keep on in their plodding way as the terrorists have so well planned this entire event. Not only is it well planned but it is being carried out so well that there seems to be no way out.

Bennett all the while is very deeply concerned about his kids and how they are doing in the middle of all these problems. Luckily for him, Seamus (the retired priest) and a young man that Seamus recommended as a caretaker are doing a great job with just a few snafus. So Bennett continues his pursuit.

The action is constant and ongoing keeping the reader’s interest all the way to the well thought out ending. A really good read by two good authors.