Killed or Be Killed (4 Bookshots Thrillers) by James Patterson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Kill or Be KilledA bit different as this book written by Patterson along with other writers is actually made up of four stories. Patterson does write quite often now with others but this is the first one that I have seen made up of novellas. Overall quite interesting although the one was a bit tough to follow due to being basically about Scotland Yard and some devious criminals. And another that was not at all Patterson style.

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    The Trial

The first however is The Trial and features Patterson’s famed Women’s Murder Club. Lindsay Boxer and her cohorts get involved early when Boxer is called to the scene of a major disturbance and subsequent shootout at a place called the Vault. It appears two women were shot dead and then as several bad guys attempt to get away the police shoot two of the bad guys and capture one.

The one they capture turns out to be the shooter of the two women and is quickly identified as Jorge Sierra also known as Kingfisher. Boxer had known of him and was very eager to take him into custody.

However that then really turns into the story as while Kingfisher is in jail all sorts of things happen to thwart his trail and to cause deep concern to the police. These actions are all put together by the underground network of criminals that basically work for and report to Kingfisher.

The happenings are severe enough that Boxer is assigned all sorts of protection as is her partner and other members of the takedown crew. As the details of the shooting come out it appears that one of the women was Kingfisher’s girlfriend. She was supposedly distancing herself from him and had “palled” up with the other woman. This triggered Kingfisher’s wrath although he is married and keeps his wife in very extravagant surroundings though she has just about cut him out of her life. At least it seems she had!

As the trial goes on some very interesting things happen both inside and outside the courtroom. But the final happening is really the crux of the whole story and will really surprise most readers if not all of them!! Really good story!

    The Heist

Heist is the second novella.

There is a whole lot going on in this one. Thieves steal diamonds in England and use all sorts of tricks to get away from other thieves and the police. Seems as though the whole robbery was put together in such a fashion that it encouraged others to think about robbing the robber.

But before that can all come about the ones with the diamonds head across the canal and finally get to Amsterdam. However not only are their steps being closely followed by the other potential thieves but also by a dedicated English police officer.

There again are many Patterson type twists and turns in Heist that makes the reader glad that he is reading the second novella in this good book.

    The Women’s War

Women’s War is the third novella.

I hate to say it but this was not one of my favorite reads. Usually Patterson and his associates write fairly interesting books that make sense as well as hold the reader to the storyline to the end. This one just seems to far-fetched to fit into that or about any category.

The main character is a woman Marine colonel who commanded a battalion during some kind of a war or battle in Mexico. In that time frame she encountered a drug lord and she took as a main cause in her life the pursuit and elimination of this gangster. Her doggedness cost her much during the pursuit including her career and her entire family. But somehow she managed to keep her troops around her and fought on to the bloody end. Part of the time it appears she was even fighting against the DEA as she and her forces blew drug carrying trucks off the highway.

There is lots of action and Marine Corps type of banding together against a common enemy but honestly I think it is just too much. Kind of smoke and mirrors writing as far as I am concerned.

    Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress is the fourth novella.

I don’t think this mess belongs in this book. There is no mystery, no murder, nothing to do with things that Patterson typically writes about.

It appears to be a story about a young divorcee’s experiences after she spots and buys a cute Little Black Dress. I honestly did not read much of this one at all because reading about sex is not my thing. That appears to be all that was going on. I skimmed through the pages and decided it wasn’t for me. I do plan to put some notes on Patterson’s website about my feelings. Not the way to end a book nor to get me back to another Patterson collage or whatever he calls this!